North Las Vegas seeking a bigger share of Nevada's tax allotments

North Las Vegas wants a bigger piece of the state's tax pie.

The City Council is asking the Legislature to consider revising Nevada's tax distribution formula so the city would get more money.

"We just cannot wait any longer," Councilwoman Anita Wood said. "We are asking for our fair share."

The Council on Wednesday approved a resolution seeking legislation to conduct a study of the state's current consolidated tax distribution formula, which officials say shorts the city.

The city also is asking to add the North Las Vegas Library District as a separate recipient in the tax distribution formula, which would provide more money to fund the city's libraries.

The state's consolidated tax distribution formula is the equation used to give allotments of state tax revenue back to communities in Nevada.

The tax pool is made up of six different taxes including the cigarette tax, liquor tax and a government services tax collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles at the time a vehicle is registered.

North Las Vegas, the state's third-largest city, received just over $31 million in consolidated tax revenues from July 2009 through May 2010, according to the state's Department of Taxation. In comparison, Las Vegas received more than $183 million, Henderson received $63.7 million and Reno got $35.3 million. The Henderson Library District got nearly $1.5 million. The Clark County Fire Protection special district received $33 million.

"We are under-funded," Wood said. "At some point, we have to do what's right and what's fair."

Some of the taxes are distributed to Nevada counties based on the county's population. Others are distributed back to the county of origin.

Tax revenues are then distributed in a "second tier" to cities within each county based on formulas that were determined years ago, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

North Las Vegas wants the formulas revisited.

The city has previously lobbied -- unsuccessfully -- to change the state's tax distribution formula.

"We fight for this every legislative session," Mayor Shari Buck said. "We need to keep fighting for it."

The city, like other local municipalities, has been struggling with decreased revenues, cutbacks and layoffs.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at lcurtis@review or 702-383-0285.