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November 23, 2014

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County to take another run at ‘More Cops’ tax increase in November

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Steve Marcus

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, shown during a county commission meeting at the Clark County Government Center Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

Clark County commissioners will take another swing at approving a sales tax increase that would benefit Metro Police and police departments in North Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City.

This morning, as expected, Commissioner Tom Collins introduced his “More Cops” proposal. A public hearing and potential vote on Collins’ plan was set for the commission’s Nov. 19 meeting.

The new proposal would phase in a .15 percent sales tax – the maximum allowed under state legislation approved earlier this year – increase in two parts, .10 percent in April 2014 and .05 percent in July 2014.

Collins is a staunch supporter of increasing the county sales tax by the full .15 percent authorized in June by the Legislature.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie has argued the increased revenue is needed to help close a $30 million budget deficit Metro faces next year and to prevent the potential elimination of hundreds of officer positions.

But commissioners have been divided on how much, if at all, to raise the sales tax amid concerns about the department’s spending and the potential to tap reserves to cover the deficit.

In separate votes Oct. 1, the commission could not muster the five-vote supermajority needed to put a More Cops tax increase into effect. One of the votes turned back a .15 percent sales tax increase; a .075 percent increase also was defeated.

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