Why are There Two Las Vegas Locality Rates? - FederalPay.org
On January 1, 2016, 13 new Pay Locality Areas were established. These 13 Pay Locality Areas are added to the 34 existing Locality Areas. Locality Areas are established in places were the cost of living is higher than average. Federal Employees who work within one of these locality areas receive a pay adjustment to bring their salary in line with private industry averages.
These new Locality Areas will mean a significant raise for some federal employees working in these regions. These new locality areas cover major cities such as Richmond, Va; Austin, Tx; Harrisburg, Pa; and Tucson, Az.
Each locality region is given a name that includes the names of the larger cities or counties with the given Locality. Two of these longer names are:
As you will notice, both of these locality regions seem to include Las Vegas. This seeming duplication has caused many federal employees to ask “Which locality rate applies in Las Vegas?”
The answer is simple: “Depends which Las Vegas you work in” Yes, there are in fact two places called Las Vegas. The key to differentiating the two Locality Areas is to look at the State Acronyms listed in the name. The first region lists the states “NV-AZ” – Nevada and Arizona. The second region lists “NM” – New Mexico.
The well-known gambling city called Las Vegas is located in Nevada. So the “LAS VEGAS-HENDERSON, NV-AZ” area applies to the Las Vegas we have all heard of. The “ALBUQUERQUE-SANTA FE-LAS VEGAS, NM” region applies to a handful of counties in norther New Mexico.
This ambiguity could have easily been avoided. When “Las Vegas” is mentioned, everyone immediately thinks of Las Vegas, NV. Listing “Las Vegas” (the flashy gambling town, also known as Sin-City) in the “LAS VEGAS-HENDERSON, NV-AZ” Locality Area Name and “Las Vegas” (small city in New Mexico) in the “ALBUQUERQUE-SANTA FE-LAS VEGAS, NM” has only caused unneeded confusion.
Remember, just focus on the State Abbreviations at the end of the Locality Name and you should have no problem remember which is which.
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