Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie on Tuesday presented a revised tax initiative to the Clark County Commission. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie on Tuesday proposed a new version of a tax initiative to fund the hiring of more police officers.
The sheriff claims the initiative would allow for the hiring of 101 new officers. The plan would raise the county's sales tax in phases. In the first year, it would increase by 0.75 percent, half of what was originally authorized by the Nevada Legislature.
The tax would increase again by the same amount the following year.
"Currently, right now, your police department is $30 million underfunded," Gillespie told Clark County commissioners. "If the county does not feel that the sales tax is the best way to go, they are going to have to significantly increase their contributions to the Metropolitan Police Department."
The new proposal came after two prior failed attempts.
Hired by Gillespie, economist Jeremy Aguero with Applied Analysis told commissioners that if a sales tax increase isn't passed by 2020, the ratio of police officers to citizens in Las Vegas could be among the worst in the country.
The plan drew strong opposition Monday.
"I didn't see anything in that presentation regarding increased cost of living for your constituents," one meeting attendee said.
"We are all tightening our belts in the private sector. Why can't the public sector do that at the same time they are taking money out of our pockets?" another attendee asked.
Chris Collins with the Las Vegas Police Protective Association spoke out against the plan as well, claiming Gillespie has the money to hire more officers but has chosen not to.
In response, Gillespie said he didn't want to hire more officers at this time who could potentially be laid off in the near future.
Collins said his association supports a tax increase but wants to be assured the money will go to the hiring of more officers.
The Clark County Commission will formally introduce the new proposal at its Jan. 7 meeting. A public hearing will follow with a vote possible on Jan. 21.
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