Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013 | 2 a.m.
After nine months of public debate, behind-the-scenes lobbying and one special session of the Legislature, Clark County residents will learn Tuesday whether the sales tax they pay will be going up later this year. Clark County Commissioners will consider the tax hike proposal, which would pay for more Metro police officers, when they hold their regular meeting Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway.
Metro Police sales tax
Officer levels have dropped by more than 10 percent at Metro Police in recent years due to the recession and $60 million in budget cuts.
The .15-cent sales tax increase proposal, which would raise sales tax rate to 8.25 percent, would allow the department to retain 250 officers positions that are currently on the chopping block and add up to 100 more officers in coming years, Sheriff Doug Gillespie has said.
The bill authorizing the sales tax increase was approved by the Legislature in a special session in June and now needs a rare supermajority vote from the commission before it can be imposed. If it receives the five votes needed to pass, the sales tax increase would go into effect in October and stay in place through 2025.
The commission’s decision could hinge on a single vote, as commissioners Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani have expressed skepticism about using the sales tax to fund Metro and whether those extra dollars would actually lead to more officers on the street.
A December resolution supporting legislative efforts to authorize the tax hike was approved by the commission 5 to 2, with Sisolak and Giunchigliani in opposition. If commissioners vote the same way Tuesday, the sales tax will pass.
Construction costs drive up price of county project
When Clark County allocated $4.3 million in federal and state funds for affordable housing projects in March, they directed $1.5 million to Accessible Space, Inc. for its Casa Oliva project.
But rising construction costs and “the significant extra costs associated with the construction of housing for a housing complex with severe disabilities” have led the project’s budget to balloon by more than $600,000.
The specialized complex will include nine affordable-housing units, which will be rented to low-income tenants suffering from severe traumatic brain injuries.
Representatives for Accessible Space, Inc. are requesting an increase in the project budget to $2.1 million, which will likely be approved as part of the commission’s consent agenda Tuesday.
The rising price tag won’t cost the county anything extra, though. Instead, the additional money will come from North Las Vegas, which is chipping in $400,000 from its own affordable housing allocation, and from the developer, which will roll over $200,000 in savings from a previous county affordable housing project to the Casa Oliva development.
County codes updated
Plumbers, contractors and electricians take note -- Clark County is updating many of its codes that govern various trades in the valley.
The county is considering changes to seven different parts of its code in order to conform with national standards, which are developed by organizations like the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association.
Each of the proposed updates, which cover the building code, the residential code, the electrical code, the plumbing code and several more, will be introduced in the form of an ordinance Tuesday.
The items will then be brought up for a public hearing and possible approval at a later county commission meeting.