Henderson budget shortfall could mean higher taxes, fees - 8 News NOW

Henderson budget shortfall could mean higher taxes, fees

Henderson budget shortfall could mean higher taxes, fees

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HENDERSON, Nev. -- The City of Henderson is staring down the barrel of a $19 million budget shortfall. Proposed ways to bridge the gap include cutting services at local parks and recreation centers and increasing property taxes.

City officials say they want to hear from the public on the best way to make the cuts and what community members think about paying more to use city services.

Kim Dacasshe is a regular at Henderson Multigenerational Recreation Center. She brings her son Christian to the center every week for swim lessons.

"There's a lot of activities, always something to do," she said.

She isn’t thrilled to hear the City of Henderson is considering raising fees and cutting services at all its parks and recreation centers to save money.

“I stay at home, my husband works,” Dacasshe said. “I guess there are going to be sacrifices that will need to be made."

Sacrifices are necessary to tackle the $19 million budget shortfall, city officials say.

"What we are really trying to do is maintain that quality of life for residents," said Tracy Bower, City of Henderson spokesperson.

She says a Special Budget Ad Hoc Committee, set up earlier this year, came up with some recommendations to balance the budget. The recommendations include a property tax increase; the first in 23 years. The tax would go up 20 cents per $100 of the assessed value of a home. Bower claims the rate would still be lower than Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.

“It will still be a great value for residents and it will help us preserve services," Bower.

There would also be rate hikes for services such as preschool and Safekey programs and prices for swimming lessons and other sports classes would also increase.

Decasshe says she understands the city's needs, but she also has to watch out for her family's bottom line, especially as she is expecting her second child in the fall and would like to keep the services she enjoys at a reasonable price.

City officials say, despite the city's $127 million in cuts during the recession, including workers salaries and benefits, it is still dealing with a budget shortfall.

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