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August 10, 2022

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Differences emerge on proposed Laughlin city budget

Map of Laughlin

Laughlin

1900 Cougar Dr., Laughlin

CARSON CITY – The state Department of Taxation and those that want to turn the Clark County community of Laughlin into a city are $5 million apart on estimating how a new budget would cost.

There’s disagreement between the state and the proposed city on the cost of operating police and fire services and also on the expected tax revenue coming in.

A subcommittee of the Local Government Finance Committee Tuesday told the two to get together to see if the differences can be worked out.

Mark Vincent, a member of the subcommittee, said “I’m not sure I have a comfortable level of operating costs.” There are differences on the public safety budget, he said.

Officials in the community of Laughlin were able to get a bill through the 2011 Legislature to determine if there should be incorporation. The proposed city boundary would not include the casino corridor in Laughlin.

Supporters of the proposed city estimate they would have a budget of $9 million with a surplus of $220,000. The tax department figures the proposed budget would be $11 million a year with a deficit of $4.1 million.

The law says the Local Government Finance Committee must prepare a report by Dec. 31 on the financial feasibility of incorporation of Laughlin. It will be submitted to the Clark County Commission and the Legislative Commission. If one of them approves the plan, it will be up to the voters.

Subcommittee Chairman Mike Alastuey told the taxation department and the officials of the proposed city to see if they can work out their differences and there will be another meeting of the subcommittee before it is presented to the full committee.

One resident questioned if there would be an increase in sewer and water rates if Laughlin became a city. But an official for Clark County told the subcommittee the rates would remain the same if the city continued with the water reclamation district.

Richard Berkson, an advocate of incorporation, said there would be an election of city officials six to eight months before Laughlin became a city.

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