Graffiti cost the city of Las Vegas $30 million dollars in 2007. (Market Wire, 2008). It feels there is no safe-haven from graffiti sightings in Las Vegas-from older parts of the city to new developments, graffiti is increasingly becoming an unwelcome part of the urban landscape. In my neighborhood,(a relatively new community) located on the northwest side of the valley, graffiti became an issue even before the homes in the development were completed. Aside from the financial toll and obvious degradation of aesthetics for residents and business owners alike, graffiti has also been linked to violent gang activity. A simple survey of various communities and public spaces in the Las Vegas Valley should serve as a visual cue to city officials that anti-graffiti programs and legal penalties in the Las Vegas Valley are ineffective, and must be handled with a sense of urgency; especially in light of the falling home values across the valley.
Assembly Bill 14 (passed late in 2007) was one such law intended to curb the growing amount of graffiti related vandalism-the law sates that vandalism that causes more than $400 in damage is automatically considered a felony. The law also states that any type of vandalism to a public facility is considered a felony as well. Additionally, taggers (practitioners of graffiti related vandalism) can be apprehended before they deface property in the first place. Carrying spray cans or other graffiti related paraphernalia onto public property such as a school is now considered a misdemeanor. Courts may also rule that minors charged with vandalism in the form of graffiti may be forced to wait an additional two years to receive their driver's license.
(2007 Legislative Issues).
Although it may be too soon to assess whether or not the implementation of harsher penalties for tagging have...