Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Henderson City Council members voted Tuesday night to support a proposal to the Legislature to raise the sales tax by a quarter-cent to hire new officers.
The issue: Henderson Police asked for the city to support its request to use the already voter-approved quarter-cent sales tax to hire new officers.
The vote: Approved 5-0.
What it means: Henderson Police will have the backing of the city council when it goes to the Legislature in the 2013 session to ask for a quarter-cent sales tax increase.
A half-cent increase was approved by voters in 2004, but only a quarter cent of the increase has been allowed for use. Legislative approval is needed for the other quarter cent to go into effect. An attempt to get those additional funds was rejected by the Legislature in 2009.
Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers told the city council that funding cuts have hampered the department’s ability to hire officers to new positions. He said the new funds will help them add 62 new officers to every branch of the department.
The proposal also aims to change the language of the sales tax increase. Currently, the funds can only be used for newly created positions. If the uses for the funds from the sales tax increase are expanded, then the police will be able to use the funds to hire replacements for positions lost during the recession.
Clark County commissioners put their support behind the proposal in December with a vote of 5-2.