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Public safety programs at risk due to COVID economic downturn

Posted at 3:25 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 19:50:50-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The shutdown caused by the spread of the coronavirus has brought unincorporated Clark County's Tax structure to it's knees leaving commissioners to face potentially deep cuts to county services and public safety programs.

Chief Financial Officer Jessica Colvin addressed County Commissioners Tuesday with an update on projected revenues for the end of fiscal year 2020 ending in June, and told them the county government would likely see revenues roughly $319,000,000 short of projections for the 2021 fiscal year.

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She said the revenue shortfall could get worse in the fiscal year 2022.

"The current recovery curve is estimated in some industries to be four years," she said, "others it could be 12 to 18 months."

Colvin listed a series of areas where commissioners could make cuts to achieve a balanced budget.

"I think the message here," she said, "that at some point, absent of a timely and strong recovery, public safety services will be impacted by this pandemic."

Included in Colvin's suggested cuts were a $6,000,000 reduction in contribution to the Clark County Detention Center and a 16,000,000 reduction in contributions to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

LVMPD has been reducing staff in advance of potential economic impacts.

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Other suggested budget cuts included voluntary furloughs for employees, a hiring freeze, and reductions in employee salaries and benefits.

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