Thursday, October 06, 2005

My Share, Their Share, Their Math, My Butt

Nevada cities North Las Vegas and Henderson have been ranked #2 and #3 in the Top 5 fastest growing of the 1990s by the Census Bureau. The 2000 census report rated the Las Vegas metropolitan area as the #1 fastest growing area (83.3% to 1,563,282.) Between 2000 and 2002, Las Vegas gained 6%, North Las Vegas gained 17.7% and Henderson jumped 17.3%. From July 1, 2003 to July 1, 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked North Las Vegas as the #3 fastest growing city. Growth can be good and then it can bad as we are all facing pains in transportation but it seems that the police have been feeling the effects as well. Or have they?

By a narrow margin in 2004, the voters approved an initiative to raise the sales tax to 7.75% in order to hire and equip more police officers with another possible .25% increase possible in 2009. The initiative was later approved by state, county officials and signed into law by Governor Kenny Guinn earlier this year. This month, the new sales tax went into effect which raises the annual cost of living but for a good cause.

The Las Vegas area had 852,732 residents in 1990, nearly 1.6 million in 2000 and our current estimate is 1.8 million. My problem with this raise in tax is that the funds for the police already come from our state sales tax. This value climbs as our population does as more spending occurs exponentially with growth. If I was one of the 1 million people that moved to Las Vegas in the last 15 years, I probably went shopping to fill my home and taxes on those items filled state coffers. Yet, I have difficulty understanding how a .25% increase helps with growth when sales do that. I also find it intriguing that after this new tax went into place, a new contract proposal from Sheriff Bill Young to the police union assures most officers a 10% annual raise. Which instead of being used to hire new officers will deplete that tax increase faster than Courtney Love goes through needles.

8 comments:

Bar Bar A said...

I don't understand how we vote for things and people that are suppose to help but then get the crap end of the stick...it happens all the time.

Moose said...

Is the post of Sheriff and elected position out there? It might be worth someone's time to bring this up in a very public way.

Teri said...

We just had this conversation last week. I just shake my head...Now if they would only give teachers a 10% raise :)

Vavoom said...

I've given up expecting local government to use public funds wisely. You're right on target here, Martin.

Moose: How are you?

LoraLoo said...

I'd much rather pay a higher sales tax to pay teachers...

Fred said...

Right on Teri and Lora!

A 10% increase? I have a hard time believing that was justified in this day and age. On top of that, it means higher pension costs which the taxpayer will have to fund.

An80sNut said...

Btw, the first year salary for a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer... $44,000... after 4 years, $65,000. Maybe I need to reconsider this job thing.

dusty said...

you couldnt pay me enough to be a cop first off..

what you need to watch is that the money actually GOES to the police force..if something really nasty happens in your area they can vote to shift it somewhere else..and you do NOT get a say in that...only the city counsel does..or your state elected officials..whoever controls these funds..