Question 5: Will gas tax continue for 10 more years?


Question 5 is a ballot measure that proposes continuing the current gas tax for another decade, to fund road improvement projects.  However, experts say the effects of Question 5 will drive up prices at the pump, but the only Nevada residents it will affect is people in Clark County.

In fact, Question 5 proposes extending fuel revenue indexing for another 10-years.  In 2013, commissioners approved a three-year gas tax that expires at the end of this year.

“We really wanted to promote the fact that over the three years, this new revenue source allowed us to do projects that we otherwise would not have been able to do,” said Tina Quigley, the general manager at the RTC.

The proposed tax hikes would be based on an annual inflation rate with a 7.8 percent cap.  By RTC calculations, it will cost the average driver a quarter per day.

Projections show drivers will pay almost $1 in fuel tax per gallon at the end of the 10-years.  Question 5 may fund up to $3 billion worth of road projects through bonds, and potentially create more than $25,000 jobs along the way.

“There are a lot of roads in southern Nevada — in older neighborhoods — that really do need maintenance,” said Quigley.

The measure doesn’t have formal opposition, but those who have spoken against Question 5 say “voting yes on the measure could mean there will be 10 separate tax increases, which could nearly double our gas tax related to indexing.”

Another argument against approving the gas tax says: “Traffic congestion will just get worse with the extra construction. There are presently orange cones on almost every major street. We cannot deal with more delays.”

“Voters will decide, but certainly, it does make a difference as to the amount of improvements we’ll be able to see over the next ten years, according to Quigley. 

If Question 5 passes, it would take effect Jan. 1, 2017 and last through the end of 2026.  The increases from the decade-long tax will remain in place for 20 years after the bonds are issued.

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