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Mesquite police talk about how sales tax increase would benefit department

Reported by: Denise Rosch
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Updated: 8/22/2013 6:47 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- It was approved by voters when the economy was booming, but now the "More Cops" initiative has run into a few roadblocks. The County Commission tabled 0.15 percent sales tax increase indefinitely.

Although most of the attention has focused on how the money would help metro, every department in Clark County could hire additional staff. In North Las Vegas, the tax would mean an extra 27 officers could be hired. In Henderson, 35 officers. And in Boulder City, they would be able to hire one or possibly two more officers. 

Outside the valley, there is one other department that would benefit from the tax hike: Mesquite, Nev., which is located about 80 miles north of Las Vegas on I-15.

The official population of Mesqute is right under 20,000. But like Las Vegas, local casinos can bump that number up significantly when you factor in tourists. Adding just two officers to the Mesquite police force could make a big difference according to department leaders.

The immediate result: better response times on call outs. Like everywhere else in Nevada, property tax revenues here have fallen in recent years, and the more cops tax would ensure the police department remains strong.

From drug busts to an officer involved shooting, it's been a busy year in Mesquite. Chief troy tanner says he hopes the county commission will bring this more cops tax issue back for a vote soon.

“It is a tax increase, it's never popular but I think it's important,” Tanner said. “I think Clark County needs to be one of the safest counties in the country. People, tourism comes from people feeling safe and it is important.”

Chief Tanner says his department currently has 28 sworn officers, again the More Cops Initiative would add another 2. Just a quick snapshot of what the tax means to a smaller department.
The current sales tax is 8.1 percent. The new tax would raise it to 8.25 percent.

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