Analysis

State requires more accountability
from Southern Nevada police agencies

Law enforcement must file detailed reports every three months

For the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, its new More Cops money comes with higher transparency requirements.

That’s because when Clark County last week increased the countywide sales tax to hire more police officers, the county commission was implementing a new state law that requires a new level of oversight and reporting for Metro.

Under the state legislation — Assembly Bill 1 of the October special session, dubbed the Clark County Crime Prevention Act of 2016 — Metro’s governing five-member Fiscal Affairs Committee must submit quarterly reports to the state Department of Taxation on multiple matters.

The reports must spell out the total amount of the new More Cops tax dollars received and a “detailed description” of how that money was spent.

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Firms cash in on lawmakers’ craving
for ‘Champion of Small Business’ label

But taxpaying businesses, public regularly shortchanged

Hankering to be publicly recognized as a “Champion of Small Business?”

If you’ve been in politics the last few years, it’s been surprisingly easy. And it’s a label that provides useful bragging rights.

The reason? Few voters have the time to investigate what’s behind the label, which always looks authoritative on a politician’s brochure.

To get so designated during these last few years, all many legislators had to do was to introduce legislation — either state or federal — that some companies out of Louisiana were very happy to write up for them.

Introduce such legislation and, not too long afterward, you could pretty much expect to be officially anointed as a “Champion of Small Business” by a little nonprofit closely affiliated with those same out-of-Louisiana companies

The nonprofit — calling itself “The National Coalition for Capital” — handed out its accolades at posh dinners in cities wherever the National Conference of State Legislatures was holding its annual meetings. Photos were taken by coalition staffers to memorialize the occasion and provide fodder for news releases. Later sent to state and local newspapers, the packets thus helped build the prominence of agreeable lawmakers.

A recent Nevada Journal search of the Web for any joint appearances of the phrases “National Coalition for Capital” and “Champion[s] of Small Business,” produced names of over 60 individuals. Primarily these were state legislators, to whom the coalition applied the label, between the years of 2008 and 2015.

Virtually all of these state lawmakers — reviews of their legislative records reveal — had introduced legislation sought by the sponsors of the nonprofit. Those sponsors were, according to a 2011 article by the Portland, Maine Press-Herald, Advantage Capital Partners, Enhanced Capital Partners and the Stonehenge Capital Fund.

All three firms — doing business as “community development entities” — are receiving and selling insurance tax credits under the Nevada New Markets Job Act that state legislators passed in 2013.

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For every $2 million in ‘More Cops’ taxes,
Metro has added only one officer

Department has increased its force by only 325 officers
since 2005 — one-quarter of the 1,278 promised

Since the More Cops tax was passed in 2005, amid all kinds of promises, Metro in fact has bolstered its force by only 325 officers.

It's the latest personnel report submitted to Las Vegas Metro’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs — and included within its October 24 agenda — that especially sheds light on this remarkable fact.

Here are the calculations:

In 2005, on the eve of the More Cops Sales Tax Initiative, Metro’s force was comprised of 2,251 sworn officers.[1]

Through October 11, 2016, according to Metro’s own personnel report — provided Monday to its Fiscal Affairs Committee — the department’s active force had only marginally increased, to 2,576 officers. This includes positions funded through both Metro’s long-standing general fund and the newer More Cops fund.

This 325-officer net-gain constitutes only one-quarter of the 1,278 more cops that Metro projected as a result of the tax.

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Metro wants lawmakers to
believe in ‘magical number’

Staffing claims by LVMPD sheriff contradict 15 years of Metro’s own violent-crime data

CATO Institute gives Nevada Governor an ‘F’

Calls Sandoval’s heavy taxes for all businesses, with big breaks
for those favored by politicians, a ‘prescription for corruption’

Transparency an item for sale
by Metro PD’s officers union?

LVPPA agrees to equip all officers with body-worn
cameras — contingent upon salary increases

Updates to federal labor law
burden Nevada business anew

Some employees see new requirements as demoralizing demotions

Metro pushes for even more ‘More Cops’ taxes

Enlists powerful tourism committee in bid for higher, longer taxation

What happened to Metro's
‘More Cops’ promises?

Extra tax revenues channeled into bank, record-level pensions

Nevada’s shrinking labor force —
the view from inside small business

Labor force participation rate among Silver State youth lagging

Metro’s ‘More Cops’ spending policy unclear
even while agency pursues more funding

Despite multi-millions already on hand, LVMPD remains focused on money worries

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