6 facts you should know about the City of Henderson’s finances

Victor Joecks

Over the last several months, City of Henderson officials have been trying to lay the groundwork for proposing a massive property-tax increase. City officials have been paint a bleak picture for city residents while trying to ignore the elephant in the room — its employees' compensation has been increasing while its resident income has declined dramatically.

Here are six facts you need to refute their spin.

1. The City of Henderson’s general fund spending has remained remarkably consistent throughout the recession. It peaked at $221 million in 2008, fell to $203 million in 2011 and is projected to be $219 million in 2014.

2. A city spokesman has admitted that, despite the City of Henderson’s claim to have made $127 million in “cuts,” many of those “cuts” weren’t actual reductions in expenditures, but desired increases in spending that didn’t come to pass. In real terms, they weren’t cuts at all.

3. As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, City Manager Jacob Snow told a panel looking at Henderson’s budget to ignore 80 percent of Henderson’s budget — pay and benefits for its employees.

4. Pay and benefits for City of Henderson employees has increased dramatically over the last 6 years. Henderson employees who worked full-time at the city from 2008 to 2013 saw their average base salary increase from $75,204 to $81,220, an 8 percent jump.

Full-time workers employed by the city from 2011 to 2013 saw their total compensation increase from an average of $117,487 to $123,560, a 5.2 percent increase.

5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Henderson dropped from $67,617 in 2007 to $61,404 in 2012, a decrease of 9.2 percent.

6. In 2013, 462 City of Henderson employees made over $150,000 in total compensation, including 84 who made over $200,000.

Henderson’s budget challenges are driven by the compensation increases given to its highly paid employees. Henderson officials owe it to city residents to be honest about how public employee compensation increases have caused its budget problems and the role collective bargaining has played and continues to play in driving up employee compensation.