County Commissioners to Consider Fuel Tax Increase - 8 News NOW

County Commissioners to Consider Fuel Tax Increase

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LAS VEGAS -- Clark County residents could soon be paying nearly 3 cents more a gallon for fuel, depending on a decision by county commissioners.

The Nevada Legislature recently approved a bill that allows the county to raise fuel taxes to fix streets and start construction projects.

According to the American Petroleum Group, Nevada ranks No. 12 in the amount consumers pay in taxes for gasoline – 51.5 cents per gallon, above the U.S. average of 49 cents per gallon. For those driving diesel-fueled engines, Nevada ranks No. 21 at 53 cents per gallon, below the national average of 54.6 cents per gallon.

Proponents of the fuel tax said the addition tax revenue could start projects that create jobs, pumping millions back into the economy.

The 3 cents per gallon, per year tax increase could fund projects such as the Boulder City Bypass and bring the 215-Beltway to freeway standards. Also on the list, repairing N. Fifth Street.

Although some residents said fuel prices are already high enough, Regional Transportation Commission spokeswoman Angela Castro said the tax increase is crucial for Las Vegas' economy and to improve transportation throughout the valley.

'By indexing the fuel tax to inflation it will create about $700 million in bonding capacity, creating nearly 10,000 jobs and funding close to 200 projects throughout southern Nevada," Castro said.

Commissioners have until Oct. 1 to vote on the fuel tax increase.

The tax increases gradually. During the first year, motorists can expect to pay an average of $16 more at the pump; about $30 the second year, and during the third year, about $50.

If the tax increase is approved, construction projects could start as soon as spring 2014.

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