Commissioners to Consider Gas Tax Increase - 8 News NOW

Commissioners to Consider Gas Tax Increase

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LAS VEGAS - Gas prices could be going up in Clark County. Clark County Commissioners are considering a three-cent-per-gallon, per-year increase. While no one wants to pay more for gasoline, economists say the tax could bring construction jobs and better roads.

The tax increase could fund projects such as the Boulder City Bypass. It could bring the 215 Beltway to freeway standards. Money raised could also help repair North 5th Street which transit leaders say is drastically overdue.

"We'll be able to encourage the flow of more goods and merchandise into Las Vegas or projects that have more of a neighborhood impact, so people will be able to get from where they live to where they work more efficiently," said Regional Transportation Commission General Manager Tina Quigley.

Economists say the fuel tax would put people back to work through new construction projects and produce better traffic flow. Cities like Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Denver are reinvesting in their roads, and economists say these cities are already seeing results, as are locations in northern Nevada.

"Even within the state of Nevada, if you look at a place like Washoe County, a place that has been indexing its gas tax for some time now, and has also seen an increase in the number of transportation projects and, frankly, an improvement in the cost of congestion," said Applied Analysis principal Jeremy Aguero. "When you combine all those things, we're trying to get where they are."

The tax would increase gradually. During the first year, the Regional Transportation Commission says motorists can expect to pay an average of 16 dollars more at the pump. In the second year, drivers can expect to pay 30 dollars more than they do now. By the third year, drivers can expect to pay approximately 50 dollars more.

If the tax increase is approved in early September, transit officials say new road construction projects could start as soon as spring 2014.

In two weeks, the commission will hold a public hearing about the proposed tax increase at the Clark County Government Center.  

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