While Clark County has a fleet of more than 2,500 vehicles, the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson have a fraction of that for their employees.
The City of Las Vegas had 55 take-home vehicles in 2021 and 63 in 2022, and the City of Henderson had 23 each year, according to records provided to OpenTheBooks.com via a Nevada Public Records Act request.
That doesn’t include the unknown number of on-duty vehicles used by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, according to Tracee Scott, fleet and fuel manager in the Public Works Department. There are nine take-home vehicles assigned to the police.
In Henderson, police have another 120 vehicles.
Las Vegas has about 3,800 city employees serving a population of 647,000.
Nearby Henderson — with a population that's half of Vegas — has 3,200 city employees.
The City of North Las Vegas and Clark County have yet to provide Open The Books with its take-home vehicle information.
Scott said while the City of Las Vegas’s vehicles are usually assigned to a specific person, about 80 percent of them “change hands.” The city provided Open The Books with the year, make, model, department/person the vehicle is assigned to, and how much fuel was used in 2021 and 2022, but is unable to provide how many miles each vehicle was driven.
Scott said that’s due to there being no true accounting from the drivers of each vehicle, who often estimate mileage.
In 2022, Fire and Rescue drove 26 take-home vehicles, the most of any department.
Workers in Public Works and Animal Control drove 11 vehicles each, Parks and Recreation drove four, and four other departments had one each, according to the city records.
With the exception of six Ford sedans, all the other vehicles were Ford, GMC and Chevy trucks and SUVs. Twenty of them were 10 years or older, all but three of them assigned to Fire and Rescue.
Gas usage varied from 18 miles on a Public Works vehicle to 1,997 on an Animal Control vehicle. The average vehicle used 501 gallons of gas in 2022 and the 55 vehicles in 2021 used an average of 663 gallons.
In Henderson, Utility Services had 17 vehicles, Emergency Management had four vehicles and Public Works and Community Development had one vehicle each. All but one were recorded as assigned to multiple drivers.
Those vehicles’ gas usage in 2022 varied from 77 gallons on a Utility Services vehicle to 2,388 on another Utility Services vehicle. The average vehicle used 508 gallons of gas in 2022 and 486 gallons in 2021.
Henderson provided the mileage on its vehicles — on average 6,051 miles in 2022. Three vehicles were driven 10,000 miles or more that year.
In 2021, the 23 vehicles were driven slightly less, at 5,857 miles for the average vehicle, and four vehicles driven 10,000 mile or more that year.
All vehicles were Chevy, Ford and Dodge trucks, vans and SUVs. Eleven of them were 10 years or older, one from 2021, three from 2020, five from 2019, one from 2017, two from 2016.
While buying and maintaining a fleet of vehicles is expensive, car allowances for municipal employees also cost taxpayers money. In Henderson, the mayor, council members, city manager and city attorney all get cash for them to pay for vehicles, costing $56,000, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
North Las Vegas also gives its mayor, council members, city manager and city attorney car allowances, costing $43,000, the Review-Journal reported.
In Las Vegas, only the mayor gets a car allowance — $7,200 per year — but Mayor Carolyn Goodman, and her husband, Oscar, the mayor before her, have not had a vehicle registered in their names since 2018, DMV records show, The Review-Journal reported.
While Clark County hasn’t provided Open The Books with its take-home vehicle information, The Review-Journal reported that it has a fleet of more than 2,500 vehicles “ranging from specialized work vehicles like tractors and ambulances to a half dozen Tesla Model 3s — for its various departments,” which costs taxpayers $147 million.
The county also pays out about $100,000 a year in mileage reimbursement to about 500 employees, the newspaper reported. The county has more than 10,000 employees.
And it’s up to $700 car allowances for staff are being used to pay for Cadillacs, Audis, Teslas and other luxury vehicles, The Review-Journal reported.
In fact, in 2021, the county and the Clark County School District each had more than 40 employees with vehicle allowances, costing taxpayers about $400,000 total, the newspaper reported.