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New fuel tax means thousands of jobs if approved by commission

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Updated: 9/02/2013 8:58 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Clark County could vote on an increase in fuel tax as soon as Tuesday. What does that mean for drivers and taxpayers?

When purchasing a gallon of gas, each of us pays 52 cents in tax right now. Some of it goes to the state and some of it goes to the federal government. Las Vegas receives nine cents of that tax.

So what the Clark County Commission is talking about doing is taking that 52 cents and tying it to -an inflationary index. Residents will see an increase of three cents per gallon in the first year added to that 52 cents.

With that money the Regional Tax Commission will be able to fund up to about $700 million worth of construction projects in a three-year program. If the tax isn't approved, Tina Quigley from the Regional Transportation Commission says we won't see any growth.

“We'll be stalled a bit in terms of our investments in transportation infrastructure,” Quigley says. “We will have about $22.4 million going forward to invest in transportation. To put that into layman’s terms, this means that we could build about one mile of roadway.

That's only one mile of roadway in each jurisdiction which Quigley says this is hardly enough to grow and diversify our economy

“This truly is a user tax. You are paying for the use of the roads so those people that are unemployed or senior citizens or living on a fixed income a lot of times their not traveling as much as the rest of us who are commuting to our jobs are driving,” Quigley said.

Quigley says the more someone drives, the more he or she is taxed. At the same time, if you drive less, you are taxed less.

“We calculate on average that it's going to cost the average commuter about 10 cents a day and we average that over three years,” Quiqley said. “That's somebody who's driving about 13,400 miles a year - they are buying about 539 gallons of fuel.”

That's someone who is commuting 25 miles a day now for folks who only commute five to 10 miles a day the increase is only two cents a day.

It's also important to note that if this tax is approved the county estimates it would create 5,000 construction-related jobs.

-- Fatima Rahmatullah, KSNV News 3, reports



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