County study: No strong opposition to gas tax hike proposal

So far, Clark County isn’t getting a groundswell of opposition to its proposed fuel tax.

The county collected 2,652 comments from the public, including businesses and private individuals, about the proposal that would raise the gasoline tax by about 3 cents each year for the next three years to pay for road and highway construction improvements.

Those comments form the basis of the county’s business impact statement, which is legally required before commissioners can vote on the fuel tax proposal. Commissioners accepted the business impact statement Tuesday but still face a decision on the fuel tax.

Commissioners need to vote by Oct. 1 on the proposal, which would raise the fuel tax by tying increases to the rate of inflation. The Legislature this year moved to allow the commissioners to pursue the potential fuel tax increase.

The county’s existing fuel tax is 9 cents. Each gallon has 52.2 cents of taxes and fees, including federal, state and county taxes.

Among business owners, 2,134 said the tax hike proposal wouldn’t be an economic burden or restrict business growth. Two businesses weren’t supportive of the fuel tax increase, according to the impact statement.

There is less support among private individuals who aren’t business owners, but most still back the fuel tax increase. The county received 516 comments from residents, with 291 supportive and 218 opposed. The remaining seven were neutral.

Jacqueline Holloway, direct of the county Department of Business License, told commissioners that the county advertised in the news media to get the word out and gather feedback.

The Regional Transportation Commission has estimated that the increase would allow it to sell bonds for $700 million to $800 million, paying for about 183 projects throughout the county.

Major projects that would get the boost include Project Neon, which would overhaul Interstate 15 through the center of Las Vegas, and improvements to Maryland Parkway between McCarran International Airport and downtown.

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