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More Cops Tax Passes But Where Will The Money Go?

The political battle over raising taxes to fund more police officers is over.

Clark County commissioners approved an additional More Cops tax on a six-to-one vote Tuesday. Several versions of the sales tax increase had failed to pass over the last few years.

Chris Giunchigliani was the lone commissioner to oppose the 0.05-percent tax increase.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Ben Botkin told KNPR's State of Nevada that Giunchigliani's biggest problem with the tax is that is regressive, meaning it hurts lower income people more than people with higher incomes.

Botkin said that many of the commissioners agree that it is not a perfect solution. 

"Commissioners do agree, that even though they passed it, they agree that really a long-term look at the overall tax structure and how it funds officers, that's really needed," he said.

Commissioner Steve Sisolak has been against past versions of the More Cops tax, but Tuesday he changed his vote from 'no' to 'yes.' Botkin said the commissioner understands it is a short-term solution, but felt it was a good compromise.

In years past, the tax increase was for a lot more. The new increase amounts to about five cents for every $100 purchase.

Botkin said the tax will generate about $19 million a year for more officers in all Southern Nevada jurisdictions, including Metro, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite and Boulder City.

Support comes from

Las Vegas Metro Police will get the bulk of the money about $17 million, which will put about 133 additional officers on the street, according to Botkin.

The reporter also said Metro has already started the process and new officers could be working by the end of next year.

Guests

Ben Botkin, reporter, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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