Clark County commissioners in Las Vegas will set the stage for two weeks of intense lobbying and debate with the introduction of two competing proposals to increase the sales tax to pay for more police officers, reports the Las Vegas Sun. The police department's nine-month effort lobbying legislators and then commissioners to pass a .15-cent sales tax increase hit a major snag last month when the commission, citing concerns about the effect on taxpayers, voted to table the proposal for further study.
Commissioner Susan Brager has a revised “More Cops” proposal that would cut the sales tax increase in half to .075 percent on top of the current rate of 8.1 percent. Her plan would force the police agency to dip into its $136 million reserve to cover about half of an expected $30 million budget deficit it says the department will face next year or risk having to lay off more than 100 officers. Some commissioners are opposed to any tax increase, others favor Brager's proposal and still others support the original .15-cent increase. Some sort of compromise will be needed to garner the supermajority of five votes required to pass one of the tax ordinances.