weather icon Partly Cloudy

Bill would require Clark County, cities to team up on homelessness

Instead of approving a bill to increase taxes and fees to pay for homeless services in Clark County, the Legislature last week amended it to require the county and its municipalities to work together for a solution.

The proposal calls for the the county to form a task force with cities and spend a year studying strategies to reduce homelessness and to explore potential sources of funding.

But some proponents weren’t happy with the changes to Assembly Bill 73, which would have raised an estimated $20 million to aid the roughly 6,000 experiencing homelessness in Clark County.

“They took all the money out of it,” Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin, who championed the bill, said Tuesday. “The biggest thing that we needed was quick money. We don’t have time to wait for this.”

Assemblywoman Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, who introduced the amendment Friday, said she did so because she had had several conversations with municipalities about “whether or not they were working together around funding.”

“Homelessness crosses over jurisdictions; it doesn’t just stay in one boundary, the county being the overlap,” Neal said. “It should be a joint victory if everybody works together. It should not just be the city of Las Vegas’ problem because it’s technically not.”

Under the original proposal, the sewer surcharge would have jumped by 8.6 percent, about $22, in 2020, to raise an estimated $5 million. And the property sales tax would have added 25 cents to the current $2.55 per $500 of value, which would bring in an extra $15 million countywide. It’s unclear, however, how much of that money the city of Las Vegas would have received.

For the 2018-19 fiscal year, the city has allocated 2 percent of its budget to homeless services, or nearly $20 million. In January, Clark County commissioners voted to direct up to $12 million in marijuana fees to address homelessness.

The increased revenue would contribute to transitional and affordable housing, as well as the city of Las Vegas’ 24-hour homeless courtyard.

Kathi Thomas-Gibson, the city’s director of community services, said she supported the amendment and that the city has been committed to working regionally to address the issue.

“We’re ready to jump in,” she said. “We already work regionally, and so this amplifies that work. If we’re going to help homeless people not be homeless, we need to build more housing, and we’re ready to work with all of our colleagues across the region to get there.”

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @brianarerick on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Sisolak signs public records reform bill into law

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill that strengthens Nevada’s public records law, making it easier and cheaper for people to get public records and providing for fines if public agencies willfully flout the law.