Starting on April 1, 2017, the Washoe County sales tax rate will increase from 7.725 percent to 8.265 percent. That will make it the highest sales tax rate in Nevada, surpassing previous front runner Clark County.

Proceeds from this increase are specifically restricted to only fund Washoe County School District projects for the acquisition, construction, renovation and repair of school facilities.

This sales tax increase was presented to the voters as Washoe Question 1 on the 2016 General Election ballot and passed by almost 57 percent. There is no sunset clause – the tax is permanent unless voters decided to get rid of it at a future election.

For more information about taxes in Washoe County and Nevada, refer to “Reno and Nevada Taxes.”

Since Nevada’s first ever medical marijuana dispensary opened in Sparks in 2015, the industry has taken off in the Silver State. There are now no less than 11 such businesses between Washoe County and Carson City. Some are locally-owned operations while others are outlets attached to bigger outfits with stores in other parts of the state, particularly down south in Clark County (Las Vegas and vicinity). For a list of these medical marijuana dispensaries, addresses and phone numbers, refer to “Medical Marijuana in Reno and Sparks.”

Medical marijuana in Nevada will soon be joined by legal recreational pot. The “Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana” was passed by voters in the 2016 general election. It is anticipated that retail stores will begin opening around the end of 2017, once regulations and enforcement measures are in place. This should happen in a timely manner since the biennial Nevada State Legislature will be in session from February to June, 2017.

Black Friday shopping in Reno, Nevada
Personally, I refuse to get involved with the Black Friday frenzy. Ruining my Thanksgiving holiday and sending my money out of the area with big box corporations just doesn’t make sense and it certainly isn’t fun. That’s why I whole heartedly get behind Small Business Saturday and the movement to support locally owned businesses.

Speaking of local shopping, plan to attend Black Friday in Midtown. On Friday, November 25, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can shop local and help others in our community. Donate $20 and receive a limited-edition Black Friday in Midtown shopping pass. With this pass, you will receive freebies and discounts at over 30 Midtown merchants, restaurants, and bars. All proceeds benefit students in need at Mount Rose School / Children in Transition.

Small Business Saturday in 2016 is on November 26, the day after Black Friday. On this day, you are encouraged to shop and spend at local businesses for the goods and services you might have purchased from a big chain or online from another faceless corporation. Think about it – locally owned businesses in the Reno area work every day to earn your trust with quality goods and services. While they are at it, they employ local residents, pay local taxes, and in turn support other locally owned businesses.

Of course, buying from your neighbors who own these local businesses isn’t just for the holiday shopping season. Their establishments are open all year, providing a rich mix from which to choose. Each place is unique and interesting, which is impossible to say about the cookie cutter boxes filling the malls and shopping centers.

Learn more about the good things that result by avoiding the mall mess from “Buy Local – Support Reno Area Locally Owned Businesses.” There is also information here about how small business owners can promote themselves and participate in Small Business Saturday and other marketing efforts, such as getting on board with the “Buy Local, Reno!” directory.