Las Vegas Sun

December 4, 2016

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Bill allows sales tax hike to pay for police

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval Thursday signed the five bills enacted during a special session of the Legislature, including the one permitting an increase in the sales tax in Clark County to pay for police.

When the Legislature could not complete its business by midnight June 3, the governor called a special session to complete the unfinished business.

The Clark County Commission is empowered under Senate Bill 1 to approve a .15 percent increase in the sales tax to maintain the present size of Metro Police and law enforcement agencies in other cities in Southern Nevada.

The agencies must use the money to fill vacancies before adding additional officers. The County Commission must approve the tax increase by a two-thirds vote.

Police agencies must report to the Legislative Interim Finance Committee how the money is spent.

Also approved by the governor was Senate Bill 2, which makes a $2 million appropriation to the Millennium Scholarship Trust Fund to permit the Clark County School District to contract with Teachers for America for the next two years.

The teachers group recruits and provides teachers for high-risk schools in Clark County. These teachers are committed to stay for two years. Critics of the program said the money could be better used for professional development programs for existing teachers.

The original bill for the $2 million appropriation to the district died in the Assembly after passing the Senate with only one dissenting vote.

The governor also approved Assembly Bill 2, which sets the class sizes for school districts in the primary grades. It sets the student-teacher ratio in kindergarten and grades 1 and 2 at 16-1 and 18-1 in grade 3. A school district may ask the state for a variance on the ratios.

Also approved were Assembly Bill 1 on abatement or deferment of certain taxes imposed on a new or expanded business and Senate Bill 3, dealing with charter school accounts.

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