Policy Reports

Guinn Center Research

chartThe Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities is a nonprofit, independent policy research center focused on providing fact-based and well-reasoned analysis of critical policy issues that advance solutions toward a vibrant Nevada. Recognizing the time constraints of the decision makers in Nevada’s policy sphere, our analysis and information is accessible, timely, and relevant.

This page includes recent policy reports published within the 6-12 months.  Archived reports are included under the issues tab.

Governing Nevada

Nevada Budget Overview 2019-2021

This policy brief explains Nevada’s budget process—such as the role of the Economic Forum—and provides both a broad-based overview of budgetary sources and spending and a detailed account of revenues and proposed expenditures. It closes with a discussion of some of the uncertainties confronting the State Legislature as they make budgetary decisions, particularly the status of the Medicaid expansion and that of marijuana legalization.

Infographics on Nevada’s budget can be accessed below: 

Guinn Center Nevada Budget 2019-2021 Infographics

Zoom and Victory Programs in Nevada

ACS Ventures (in partnership with UNLV and MYS Project Management) recently completed a multi-year external evaluation of several state education programs, including Zoom and Victory programs. Shortly thereafter, CCSD released its own internal analysis of Zoom and Victory programs. While the findings were similar, there are distinct and important differences regarding the program reviews. This policy brief discusses the limitations of the two reports and provides some additional analysis of the impact of these two educational programs.

Property Taxes and K-12 Financing in Nevada

Property tax is one of the most significant sources of K-12 education financing within states. With resource adequacy a question before Nevada lawmakers in the 80th (2019) Legislative Session, this policy brief evaluates the relationship between property taxes and K-12 financing in the State.

Property Taxes in Nevada: An Overview

The Guinn Center, in conjunction with researchers from the Department of Economics in the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business, has published a policy report that provides an overview of property taxes in Nevada. This report addresses a set of questions that highlight the structural dimensions of the Silver State’s property tax system, examine statewide variation, and analyze possibilities for reform. (May 2017)

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Property Taxes Executive Overview

Infographics (in English and Spanish) on Nevada’s property taxes can be found here.

Nevada Budget Overview 2019-2021

This policy brief explains Nevada’s budget process—such as the role of the Economic Forum—and provides both a broad-based overview of budgetary sources and spending and a detailed account of revenues and proposed expenditures. It closes with a discussion of some of the uncertainties confronting the State Legislature as they make budgetary decisions, particularly the status of the Medicaid expansion and that of marijuana legalization.

Educating Nevada

District-Sponsored Charter Schools in Nevada

While there are pockets of success, Nevada’s educational landscape is characterized largely by dismal outcomes. Among the successes are some of the State Public School Charter Authority (SPSCA)-sponsored charter schools. An analysis of recent accountability data indicates that state-sponsored (SPSCA) charter schools have higher star ratings, on average, than traditional district public schools. However, there is significant variation among charter schools. Specifically, virtual state-sponsored charter schools and district-sponsored charter schools, as a group, are among the lowest performing schools in the Silver State. This policy brief provides an overview of the performance of district-sponsored charter schools in the state’s two largest urban school districts, the Clark County School District (CCSD) and Washoe County School District (WCSD). 

Demographics, Enrollment, and Performance Metrics in Nevada's K-12 Schools

The Guinn Center compared enrollment, demographics, and performance metrics across traditional—i.e., non-virtual—state-sponsored public charter schools, district-sponsored public charter schools, and district public schools, as well as virtual state-sponsored public charter schools and virtual district public schools.

Sustaining Nevada

Restructuring the Electricity Market in Nevada? Possibilities, Prospects, and Pitfalls

The subject of Question 3: The Energy Choice Initiative—namely the proposed restructuring of Nevada’s electricity markets—is complex. Supporters and opponents of Question 3: The Energy Choice Initiative are providing data and arguments that appear to conflict with each other. This policy report summarizes and evaluates the primary arguments for and against passage of Question 3. While the Guinn Center does not take a position on Question 3, we seek to inform the debate so that decision-makers, ratepayers, and voters better understand the issue. Given that the evidence we reviewed is comparative and historical, rather than predictive, we cannot demonstrate conclusively that energy choice (Question 3) is either “good” or “bad” for Nevada. That can be known only with the wisdom of hindsight. The Guinn Center notes, however, that the transition to a restructured (or “energy choice”) electricity market in other states was characterized by variability in rate behavior, implementation challenges, and, for residential ratepayers, increased uncertainty resulting from greater exposure to wholesale electric prices. 

See here for Executive Summary: Guinn Center Q3 Ex Summary

See here for the Executive Summary in Spanish: Guinn Center Q3 Resumen Ejecutivo Espanol