North Las Vegas delayed a proposal for a 2023 special election that would have asked voters to approve lengthy extensions of special property taxes used to maintain streets, parks, fire stations and to hire new police officers — at least for now.
Agenda items on Wednesday’s City Council meeting, which would’ve advanced the proposal, were pulled Tuesday, city spokesperson Kathleen Richards said.
The city wants to renew the taxes for another 30 years, and to hold a special election before Dec. 12 to seek voters’ feedback.
Councilman Scott Black said Wednesday he was informed that the items as written may not accomplish the city’s goal.
“Our intention was to engage residents of North Las Vegas directly to foster transparency to ensure that the city’s residents are heard regarding these crucial financial decisions,” he said.
While the city’s population has grown substantially since the taxes were first instituted, “tax rates will not be increased as a result of approval of this question,” the city said.
The two taxes have been in the books for nearly 30 years, and expire in 2025 and 2027.
They add up to about $150 from each homeowner for every $100,000 assessed on a property. Overall, the city collects about $50 million annually.
“These funds provide vital dollars for the city’s public works, fire, police and corrections departments,” Black said.
Passing the resolutions would’ve moved the plan to Clark County’s Debt Management Commission, which needs to approve the proposal before it’s placed on a ballot.
Richards said deliberations on the measures were still in their initial stages, and that the City Council needed to discuss them further before taking a vote themselves.
Asked why the city would hold a vote during an off-election year, Richards said that North Las Vegas had been advised that it was the best way to get its residents to engage on a single issue.
Richards cited “voter fatigue,” in which voters in midterm and general elections are overwhelmed with a plethora of candidates and questions.
It wasn’t clear when the proposal to extend the taxes would next be considered for a City Council vote, Richards said.