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More cops tax proposal fails for third time in Clark County

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

More cops tax proposal fails for third time in Clark County

By Spencer Lubitz. CREATED Jan 21, 2014

Clark County, NV (KTNV) -- For the third time, Clark County commissioners have failed to muster up the votes needed to pass the more cops tax increase.

That decision to turn the proposal was made Tuesday afternoon.

Afterwards, Sheriff Doug Gillespie told the media, "This was a way to bring some stability to my organization and all other police organizations in Southern Nevada, so it disappoints me greatly that the County Commission chose not to support it."

It comes as a significant setback to Sheriff Doug Gillespie, who wanted to hire 100 more police officers with the extra tax money.

The measure would have boosted the sales tax in Clark County from 8.1-percent to 8.25-percent by October of 2015.

That would mean raising the cost of a $100 item by 15-cents.

But, that did not fly well with all Clark County commissioners.

Mayors from Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Boulder City all went down to the Clark County Government Center on Tuesday to encourage the commission to vote "yes" on raising the sales tax to pay for more cops, which the sheriff said are desperately needed.

There was a long line for public comment at the meeting, where locals expressed both sides of the debate.

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins told the crowd, "You live in a community of two million people that need to be safe so that we can survive and keep the jobs. If our tourism gets impacted, we lose a lot of jobs." 

Others at the meeting said police need to make due with what it has. "My wheelchair needs to be repaired," said one local resident. "I don't have the extra money to get it fixed this month. I have to wait until next month. I have to work within my means."

Sheriff Gillespie held a news conference right after the proposal was shot down and expressed his frustration, especially after he hired a financial analyst to explain the budget breakdown.

Gillespie admitted commissioners may have had reservations about giving police more money after the department was hit last year with some scandalous accusations, like the famous guitar player getting a fly-along on a police chopper.

A budget minus the tax will be submitted for approval in April.

Spencer Lubitz

Spencer Lubitz

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Spencer Lubitz is a general assignment reporter for Action News.