County budget plan Hike taxes

first_imgAfter months of meetings and crunching numbers on thousands of pages of spreadsheets, Clark County Manager Mark McCauley and his staff unveiled a proposed budget for the 2017-2018 biennium Wednesday that seeks to make up for projected shortfalls with tax increases, cost savings and new debt.Speaking to the Clark County council, McCauley said that the proposed budget contains cost savings while paying for critical infrastructure and increased employee costs while seeking to minimize adverse effects on county residents. The rest of the shortfall will be covered by increased property taxes and by taking on debt, according to the budget plan.Details came in an hour-long presentation by Budget Director Adriana Prata.“Obviously, we are still in a situation of a structural deficit where expense growth rate exceeds the revenue growth rate,” she told the council. She said this is happening even though the local economy was rebounding from the recession, bringing in more revenue to the county.Sales tax revenue has risen from $22 million in 2011 to $35 million in 2015, according to county numbers that also anticipate a 4 percent annual growth in 2017 and 2018. Property tax revenues have held steadily during the housing recovery.Even so, Prata said, county expenses have outpaced revenue, particularly costs associated with employees.To close the gap, the proposed budget includes money-saving measures that include organizational efficiencies and using different sources of funds. During her presentation, Prata outlined some of these measures, including reducing vehicle fleet and repair costs, reducing the rate for costs associated with unemployment claims and increasing fees at parks.last_img read more