Nevada governor pursues vehicle registration rebates

| Monday, January 10, 2005

The money Nevadans paid last year to register their vehicles soon could be back in their pockets. Truck drivers in the state would be among those receiving the greatest benefit.

Gov. Kenny Guinn has announced plans to use the state’s $300 million surplus to refund vehicle registration fees.

“After working with my administration and cabinet members for the past six months, I have decided that the fairest way to rebate this money is based on a vehicle registration fee that our citizens pay,” Guinn said in a statement.

The governor’s plan calls for 80 percent of Nevadans who registered a vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles in calendar year 2004 to get a full rebate. The remaining 20 percent will get partial rebates.

Residents who registered their cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers and recreational vehicles through the agency can expect a refund check. Individuals who register more than one vehicle would receive a rebate on each of them. And businesses would also receive the refunds.

Upon approval of the Legislature in the session that begins in February, residents will likely receive the checks, which will not exceed $300 dollars for each registration.

Guinn said the registration rebate would not impact school districts, city or county governments.

The governor’s plan comes after state Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, suggested a $100 rebate on each vehicle. At that time, Guinn was lukewarm to Beers’ plan.

Guinn said the surplus is the result of unprecedented sales and gambling tax activity that greatly exceeded the projections of the Economic Forum during the past year.

After studying several tax-rebate options, Guinn said the tax registration fees at the DMV is the most practical and fairest way to refund the surplus.

U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-NV, praised the governor’s proposal, noting “it is the taxpayers’ money first, not the government’s.”

“Now that our state government enjoys a large surplus, I am pleased that Nevada’s working men and women will be able to keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars,” Gibbons said in a statement.

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