LETTERS: Fund Metro without hurting taxpayers


To the editor:

In response to the letter from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman (“To boost police, raise sales tax,” April 14 Review-Journal), at issue is a proposal I made last month to increase city of Las Vegas and Clark County funding to the Metropolitan Police Department. The proposal sought an additional $5 million to create and staff 47 new officer positions at Metro.

For the county, this translates to an additional $3.1 million in proposed funding to Metro, above and beyond the $17.6 million funding increase approved by the county to fund Metro’s base budget. The mayor stated in her letter that she “rejected Commissioner Sisolak’s idea because there is already a solution [a 0.15 percentage-point sales tax increase] before him and the County Commission.” I’d like to offer the following in response.

First, in my opinion, tax increases are the option of last resort, not the option of first resort. I have consistently opposed increasing the sales tax to fund more police officers, and my position on this subject will not change. Our business community and our taxpayers have endured great hardships over the last five years, and I do not support asking them to shoulder more tax burden for an issue that local governments should be able to address on our own through the reprioritization of our spending.

Second, if the city of Las Vegas and Clark County truly viewed law enforcement as a priority, then that priority should be reflected in the decisions we make related to the commitment of resources. While I think there are numerous opportunities to redirect resources in the city of Las Vegas’ general fund budget, I am going to let the mayor do the job she was elected to do. However, I will point out that in the city’s approved tentative budget for next year, which was supported by the mayor, the city authorizes the funding of 10 new non-public safety positions, including planners, business licensing agents and economic development staff. The only conclusion I can reach is that these new non-law enforcement positions are a higher priority for the city than putting more cops out on our streets.

I respect the mayor and think she has done a good job during her term in office. I just think that if elected officials have the ability to solve problems and address the priorities of the community on our own with the resources that taxpayers have given us, then we should do so without shifting the burden to taxpayers.

STEVE SISOLAK

LAS VEGAS

The writer is chairman of the Clark County Commission.

Immigration policy

To the editor:

So Jeb Bush thinks it’s OK to break some laws, or at least one pertaining to illegal immigration. He described breaking this law as an act of love. Yes, families are adversely affected when family members break the law and must suffer the consequences, but that doesn’t mean that these lawbreakers should get a free pass. If this were the case for all lawbreakers, there would be very little need for prisons, as only those without families would have to pay for their crimes.

By not enforcing existing laws, the federal government is condoning and encouraging people to illegally enter this country. As long as this policy is in effect, the government might as well open the borders so we can save the current taxpayer money being used trying to keep people out.

There are work visas available for migrant workers. If these people used the means available, families wouldn’t be as adversely affected as they are today.

JACK OLIVER

LAS VEGAS

 

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