LAS VEGAS -- The cost for everything from clothes to cars could soon go up because of a proposed sales tax increase.
The Clark County Commission is set to vote Tuesday on what is being called the More Cops tax. The premise behind the sales tax increase was to put more police officers on the street, but even Sheriff Doug Gillespie has admitted that could take a few years to happen.
The sales tax, if passed by the commission, will take effect in as little as two months. The Legislature passed the bill allowing the county to enact it, if it chooses.
Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is not supportive of the tax.
"I think this is just an extra burden we put on folks," he said.
Sisolak believes there are other ways Metro Police can cut back to add about 100 officers to the force over the next few years. Sisolak says increasing the sales tax from 8.1 to 8.25 percent will only hurt his constituents still reeling from the Recession.
"Yes, everybody wants a safe neighborhood, but you can't keep saying pay more for this or pay more for that," Sisolak said.
Las Vegas Police Protective Association's executive director Chris Collins argues the tax is necessary because there are fewer than two officers per 1,000 residents in Clark County.
"If we don't start hiring some police officers, crimes will continue to go up ... couple more straws on the camel's back and it's going to break," Collins said.
If the tax passes, it will add about 6 cents to a $40 dinner bill and about 45 cents to a $300 shopping trip. A big ticket item, such as a $20,000 car, will mean paying about $30 more in sales tax.
"It will help, it couldn't hurt," said Depriest Webb, a Clark County resident who would like to see more officers in his neighborhood.
Aside from Metro, the tax will also benefit other local police agencies including North Las Vegas and Henderson.
The tax needs a two-thirds majority to pass. If it does pass, it will go into effect in October and stay in place through 2025.