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Residents Resist Proposed City Annexation

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On a map, the City of Las Vegas looks like a puzzle that's missing a few pieces. 

Those missing pieces are called "islands" because they're bits of county land surrounded by the city. 

It's been that way for decades, and the people who live within the islands like it that way. But the city is renewing an effort to annex those pieces, thus taxing those residents. 

Tom Perrigo is the executive director of community development for the City of Las Vegas. He said the problem is the residents in those "islands" aren't paying for services, but are getting the benefits.

“Ninety-eight percent of the population lives in a town or a city, and all of those people ... with exception of about 1.7 percent, pay either a town tax or a city tax for municipal services," he said. "These pockets pay neither and so they benefit from all of those urban services but don’t pay for them."

Annexing those pockets of unincorporated land would take in about 4,000 people and would put about $450,000 in taxes into the city's coffers.

People living in those pockets are worried that they would lose their "rural lifestyle," if the city were to annex them. 

“We work with the neighborhood to preserve that lifestyle,” Perrigo said.

He said that regulations for things like water wells and septic tanks would be the same as they are now for city residents, and the city wouldn't force streetlights or sidewalks on the residents. 

A public hearing on the proposed annexation is set for February 12. 

Tom Perrigo, executive director of community development, City of Las Vegas

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Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.