Bill would raise pay for county elected officials

The Nevada Senate is considering legislation that would give pay raises to county elected officials.

SB419 was introduced Tuesday, the final day for introductions of bills other than exempt legislation.

It provides 2 percent annual increases for district attorneys and sheriffs. Those officers received increases averaging 36 percent two years ago.

County clerks, assessors, recorders, treasurers and public administrators would get raises of about 7 percent if SB419 passes. Those officials received 26 percent pay raises two years ago.

The raises in 2003 were the first pay hikes any county elected officials had received in eight years.

Most of the positions are regarded by the Legislature as professional posts. Lawmakers separated the county commissions and Carson City's Board of Supervisors from the other public officials, as they did in 2003 when they made it clear if those officials want raises, they can take the political heat and do it themselves. SB419 would allow them to raise their own pay by as much as 26 percent if they choose.

The top paid elected county official in the state would remain the Clark County district attorney at $158,860 a year. Next is the Washoe County district attorney at $140,235. Officials in those two counties are all paid more than their counterparts in Nevada's smaller counties, with other Clark officials to receive $97,675 and their Washoe counterparts $89,536.

Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Lyon, Humboldt and Nye counties are in the next tier of the pay scale, with district attorneys to receive $100,861 and sheriffs $83,483 a year. The clerks, assessors and others on the list in those counties would each get $69,675 annually.

The next tier includes Lander and White Pine, where district attorneys would receive $95,087, sheriffs $75,135 and other officials $58,117 a year.

That is followed by Eureka, Lincoln, Mineral, Pershing and Storey counties: district attorneys $83,901, sheriffs $60,108 and other officials $52,093.

Last on the list is Esmeralda County, where the district attorney would get $66,620 and the sheriff $53,430, while the remaining officials receive $45,582 a year.

The pay scales are all "base" rates. County elected officials receive step increases every election based on how long they have held the position.

The proposal will be reviewed by the Senate Government Affairs Committee.


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