Bid to increase Nevada's fuel tax hits dead end

| 4/27/2005

Regarded by some as one of the most poorly timed ideas to ever surface in Nevada, an Assembly panel shot down an effort to hike the state’s fuel tax.

John Oceguera, chairman of the Assembly Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, refused to take up an effort to boost the state’s fuel tax by 2 cents a gallon each year for the next five years.

“As chair of the committee, I will not move forward with any bill that raises gasoline taxes,” Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“Nevada’s gas taxes are already among the highest in the country. Adding to that burden is irresponsible at this point, and will not happen on my watch.”

Assembly Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, said the bill should never have been introduced when prices at the pump are hovering near record highs.

The bill called for increasing the fuel tax by 2 cents a gallon July 1, 2006, and then by 2 cents a gallon each year through 2010.

The Nevada Highway Users Alliance proposed lawmakers authorize higher fuel taxes after a hearing in which members discussed coming shortfalls in the state highway construction budget.

“While the committee may discuss the problem that this was intended to address, the proposed gas tax will not be part of the solution,” Oceguera said.