Las Vegas Sun

January 22, 2018

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election 2012:

Residents say no to city status for Laughlin — for now


Steve Marcus

In this file photo, Laughlin is seen from the Arizona side of the Colorado River.

The defeat of an appeal by some Laughlin residents to let the tiny community incorporate doesn’t mean the fight is over. It just means it is likely postponed for a while, said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, whose district includes Laughlin.

More than 55 percent of voters in Laughlin voted against incorporation. The final tally came to 962 votes against to 729 votes in favor.

“It was intensely fought by both the proponents and opponents, but the will of the people is not to incorporate now. But this will not preclude them from trying in the future.”

Hopefully, he said, the community that has been “pretty divided” over the issue will work together now, he added, “to encourage future development and a spirit of cooperation.”

Supporters of incorporation looked to the near future, when the development of a solar-panel manufacturing plant and a massive solar energy farm by a Chinese company are expected to bring a windfall of tax dollars to the area. Opponents say wait until that happens before incorporating, otherwise they fear Laughlin residents will be on the hook for large tax increases to pay for services that the current level of tax revenues don’t support.

The county itself isn’t likely to push state lawmakers next year to move forward on incorporation legislation anytime soon. Clark County officials believe state figures that last year appeared to demonstrate Laughlin wouldn’t be able to come up with enough tax revenue to support basic public services if it incorporated.

The county’s worry was that it then would have to come in to provide the area with additional staff and tax dollars.

Sun reporter Brian Nordli contributed to this story.

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