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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has always dubbed herself as Las Vegas’ biggest cheerleader, and during her sixth state of the city address, she wasn’t short of accolades for the past year.
She also outlined five key areas she wants the city to focus on in 2017 – including professional sports teams, better healthcare, addressing the homeless population, youth development and public safety.
As we head into 2017, KNPR is taking a closer look at municipal needs around the state. and invited mayors from throughout Nevada to talk about issues affecting them in the coming year. Carolyn Goodman joins KNPR for the final installment.
As far as the sports team goes, Goodman would still like to see Major League Soccer come to the city.
“We’re very hopeful going forward that we’ll still be in that game plan to get expansion soccer,” she said.
Goodman worked to get an expansion team to the city a few years ago, but ultimately the stadium and the team didn't materialize. She also pitched the backers of the domed stadium on building downtown. A plan that didn't get much traction.
Like other local leaders, Goodman wants the Legislature to change the property tax cap. Goodman pointed out that other cities around the country collect city income taxes, but Las Vegas doesn't.
“What we do rely on for everything that we do is sales tax and property tax and because the recession we got it in the gut,” she said.
The property tax cap was put into place during the housing boom of the 90s and early 2000s. It capped the hike in property taxes to 3 percent for residential property and 8 percent for commercial. However, when the Great Recession hit and property values fell, property taxes that local jurisdictions around the state rely on also dropped dramatically.
Goodman would like to see a revision of the cap become a priority.
One thing the mayor is happy to see is that the More Cops sales tax increase is finally in place.
“It’s been a very, very difficult issue for us because the five mayors… really agreed whole heartedly on this more cops issue and it was just like a stonewall we hit at the county commission,” she said.
Now, the money from the increase is rolling in and police agencies around Southern Nevada are able to hire.
Transportation is one of the top agenda items for Southern Nevada. The Regional Transportation Commission has a master plan on how to improve mobility around the area.
Goodman supports one of the key components: light rail. She would also like to see an easy way to get around downtown.
“Downtown I want a free circulator, or many of them, just moving people around from the hotels to the World Market Center to the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo to the premium outlets, up and down the Arts District around to the museums and really just keeping people jumping on and jumping off.”
Carolyn Goodman, mayor, Las Vegas