Clark Co. board to revisit 'more cops' tax, Strip news racks - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Clark Co. board to revisit 'more cops' tax, Strip news racks

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The Clark County Board of Commissioners are scheduled to revisit Tuesday two controversial issues - one involving newsstands on the Las Vegas Strip and the other proposing a tax hike to hire more police officers.

In August, the board heard Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Doug Gillespie's case for a .15 percent sales tax increase. In that meeting, Gillespie told commissioners crime has risen over the last three years while the police force has gotten smaller, from about 3,000 to the current 2,500.

In fact, Gillespie noted the crime rate went up by 9 percent from last year.

Commissioner Steve Sisolak, though, argued whether additional taxes were in the public's best interest.

"I'm not convinced if you put more officers out there, more officers that are going to be in traffic, that you're necessarily going to eliminate a lot of crime," Sisolak said in the August meeting.

Instead, Sisolak recommended the department allocate the money they already have.

Under the plan unveiled in August, the sales tax rate would increase from 8.1 percent to 8.25 percent, resulting in a $30-million boost, enough to save about 250 jobs at Metro, and allow for the hiring of up to 100 officers.

Tuesday's board meeting is expected to feature a modification of that plan.

Meanwhile, the commission is also slated to take up the debate regarding newsstands on the Strip, more significantly ones featuring bills with suggestive content.

In March, the board took a look at the smut-in-newsstands issue, with commissioners saying the racks are obstructions. Despite their opposition, commissioners said the newsstands are a public safety issue and not one of obscenity.

Proponents of the newsstands said it is their constitutional right and the racks are better than hand billers who hand the publications directly to tourists.

The commission meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

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