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Monday, 30 June 2014 16:30

City of Las Vegas Provides Some Answers Regarding Upcoming Fee Increases Featured

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The City of Las Vegas finally answered some questions in-regard to their field usage fee increases and we have listed them below. These are answers to various questions that were asked via the special Crowd Hall page they set-up for people who could not attend the meeting. We compiled all their answers together for easier reading and understanding.

We did not change any answers but we did merge some together for better understanding...

City of Las Vegas Answers:

Total costs for operating our sports fields are $11 million. Fee revenue is $1.3 million, leaving a $9.7 million deficit. The rest comes from our general fund, which is still operating at a deficit of $9 million this year, meaning we had to make some tough choices and the fees had to be increased to cover that deficit.

Only 5.8 percent of the city's 600,000 residents are considered sports field users. We didn't feel it was fair to ask most of our residents to pay for something that is used by such a small, specialized portion of our residents. Given the budget deficit, we had a city-wide goal to find equitable ways to increase cost recovery and this was one of the areas that made the most business sense.

An analysis has been done for the entire Parks & Recreation Department to ensure that all program fees are equitable and fair. Increases have already started for summer camps and will start this fall for Safe Key and for park special events and rentals and facility rentals. The process continues to ensure that fees are fair and equitable for residents and for the city. City Council directed the PRNS department to recover department costs overall at 50 percent, meaning all programs and services have been analyzed, if they have not been already.

We know fee increases are never easy and we don't take them lightly. At our current fee structure, we only recover 12 cents for every $1 we spend. After the first increase in August, we still will only recover 17 cents for every $1 we spend. After January, it will go up to 26 cents for every $1 we spend. This decision was not made so that we can turn a profit but just help to recover some of the costs that we cover to provide these services. As you can see, we are not making a profit, even with the increase.

We are putting together focus groups with league organizers to better understand their financial resources, needs and concerns. We have also taken steps to increase efficiency with field maintenance like lighting, turf replacement, etc.

When asked about how their fees compare to those of neighboring cities and the county, they stated: It is difficult to compare our price levels because we all formulate our fees differently. It isn't fair to compare our prices to what is offered in Henderson or in Clark County because our fee structures are different. We did a thorough internal analysis to justify the increase to ensure that they were fair and equitable.

When asked about incoming revenue in Real Estate taxes and the boom in the gaming industry, they stated: We are optimistically cautious about the state of our economy, including gaming revenue, but it is still no where near what it was pre-recession. We also don't feel it is fair to ask major tax payers, like gaming and real estate companies, to subsidize such a specialized service. Also keep in mind that gaming revenues don't directly impact city funding. We do receive funding based on the room tax but its substantially lower.

Additionally the City made several references as to their own programs stating: "These fee increases apply to third-party leagues and the city still offers thousands of affordable programs and activities, including sports, at our community centers and pools. Visit lasvegasparksandrec.com to learn more."

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We hope this answers some questions some of you have had and we wish we had more for you but that's all that was provided. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the meeting ourselves due to prior commitments.

If you were in attendance of the meeting and have some further answers, please feel free to comment below using Discus. Thanks ;)

For the Original Article About the Fee Increases, Please Go Here

Last modified on Monday, 30 June 2014 16:56