City of North Las Vegas to place property tax questions on June ballot
The City of North Las Vegas will ask voters in the June primary election whether to continue a pair of set-to-expire property taxes, after the city scrapped plans for a December special election for the ballot questions amid concern from state election officials.
The taxes have been in place for nearly three decades and are used for public safety, street maintenance and public park purposes, collectively bringing in tens of millions of dollars every year to city coffers.
City officials in September had raised the idea of holding a December special election because they said that the expiration of the property taxes — set to come in the next few years — constituted an “emergency.”
The first property tax, which allocates money for the city’s fire and parks and recreation departments, is for $0.235 for every $100 in property value and is set to expire in June 2025. The tax has been used to help fund a new fire station, fire and rescue trucks and rehabilitation of city parks, pools and community centers, according to information provided by the city.
The second property tax helps fund about 65 positions in the city’s police department, community corrections center and Animal Protection Services division. This tax is $0.20 for every $100 in property valuation and is set to expire in June 2027.
Together, the taxes were set to bring in nearly $35 million in the 2023 fiscal year, according to a city budget document.
But the proposed special election request prompted frustration from state elections officials, including Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar, who said it would have led to much lower voter turnout and caused headaches for election officials preparing for this year’s presidential primary elections.
The plan was scrapped in September before the city council voted to move forward on the measure. However, there is little information available as to why officials wanted a December special election, and why they pulled the plug.
For months, The Nevada Independent sought records from the city regarding its decisions because of the election’s importance to the city’s budget, the effect it might have on the tax bills of homeowners and because of concerns raised that the election could upend preparation for the state’s presidential primary in February.
The city resisted providing that information. Their response to The Indy’s public records request included more than 15 fully redacted pages. The city attorney’s office also refused to provide a general description or log of what records were redacted.
Last month, attorneys representing The Indy filed a petition in Clark County District Court, asking for unredacted copies of non-confidential information and a log explaining each of the redactions. Following the petition, the city provided a log that showed the redacted emails included the city’s legal counsel, making them protected from release based on the attorney-client privilege. As a result, The Indy agreed to end its legal efforts to compel production of the records.