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Question 5 vital to local economy

Growing communities need efficient, safe, well-maintained and convenient transportation infrastructure. The county’s current fuel revenue indexing policy, which began in 2013, is scheduled to sunset this year. Unless voters approve an extension in the November election, Clark County will not have the resources to keep up with our growing transportation infrastructure needs.

That’s why the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, Council for a Better Nevada, Nevada State AFL-CIO, and Nevada Economic Development Coalition have come together to support Question 5 on the November 2016 ballot.

The fuel revenue indexing concept was originally approved by the Legislature, Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Clark County Commission as a way to improve transportation and infrastructure by tying a portion of fuel tax that motorists pay at the pump to inflation for a three-year period. Question 5 — Fix Our Roads — will ask voters to approve the continuation of fuel revenue indexing for 10 years.

It is estimated that the increase will be affordable — fewer than 2 cents per gallon in the first few years and never increasing more than 4 cents per gallon in any year.

Voting yes on this ballot question will provide for safer roads and highways, the maintenance of our roads, reduced traffic congestion and shorter commutes — thus saving residents money from wasted time, fuel and traffic incidents. In addition, up to 25,000 additional jobs will be created. The fuel tax can be used only for road and highway improvements in Clark County and will be subject to public disclosure, accountability and audits.

So far, the tax has funded more than 220 critically needed road and highway projects in Clark County and created thousands of direct and indirect jobs. These projects ensure residents, visitors and commercial goods efficient and safe transport and travel through our area.

Still, population and economic growth in Clark County continue to put a strain on the county’s roads and highways. By 2025, Clark County is expected to grow to 2.7 million people. This, along with more than 53 million visitors traveling to Las Vegas, could lead to increased traffic congestion and longer commute times. Extending the fuel tax indexing will help us meet the transportation needs of our growing community, while also supporting thousands of jobs.

Please join us in voting yes on Question 5. Approval of this measure will ensure we have the means to fix our roads, improve public safety for all citizens, and build the infrastructure we need to create jobs and keep up with our growing economy.

Hugh Anderson is government affairs chairman for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. Danny Thompson is executive secretary-treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO. The essay was also signed by John Ritter, chairman of Council for a Better World, and Jay Barrett, a board member with the Nevada Economic Development Coalition.

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