East Las Vegas wants to be its own city.
Or at least some of its residents do.
They say they want better representation, more funding and lower taxes.
The idea is to combine the towns of Sunrise Manor and Whitney to create the city of East Las Vegas.
Brandon Casutt is an advocate for the idea and he's running for State Assembly.
He said supporters want a mayor and a city council that live in the area. He said the county commission is not bad, but the commission doesn't provide the representation they want.
Another issue is money.
“A lot of people feel like we aren’t getting all the same money coming back that we are already currently paying,” Casutt said.
Casutt said instead of tax money going into one pot of public money that is doled out by the county tax dollars would stay in the area. He also said that there would be a better chance to get federal grants and deals with private developers if it was a city.
If the area is incorporated into a city, it would be the third largest city in the state, after Las Vegas and Henderson, with 260,000 people.
Casutt said that even if people don't support the idea it is worth triggering the process. He said the first step in the process of incorporation is a non-biased feasibility study that will be done by the state.
“This would basically answer the questions: can this be done? What would work? What wouldn’t work?” he said.
Opponents of the idea have pointed to the financial troubles of North Las Vegas as a reason not to go through with the process, but Casutt said Henderson is doing fine and it has lower taxes than Sunrise Manor and Whitney.
“We have the advantage of looking at what other people have done and see what they’ve done right and what they’ve done wrong and learn from that," he said.
He also pushed back against the idea that the new city wouldn't have money for infrastructure. Casutt said when a city is incorporated all the public buildings move from being managed by the county to being managed by the new city.
If the idea moves forward, which Casutt said will be decided in the next few weeks, a petition drive would begin and if enough signatures are gathered then the feasibility study starts.
Brandon Casutt, supporter, East Las Vegas
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