Many Nevada residents will soon be getting their hands on
some cold, hard cash – or at least a check. Truckers based in the state, on the
other hand, won’t get squat.
Gov. Kenny Guinn recently signed a bill into law to put a
portion of the money Nevadans paid last year to register their vehicles back
into the taxpayers’ pockets.
The registration rebate is the result of a surplus in state
funds, which resulted from a strong state economy and increased taxes passed
during the 2003 session.
Truck drivers initially were among those who stood to
receive the greatest benefit. A Senate amendment, however, excluded big rigs
from the final version.
Under the rebate agreement reached last month in the
Legislature’s final hours before adjournment, the minimum rebate residents and
businesses with vehicles as much as 26,000 pounds will receive on their vehicle
registration fees is $75. The maximum return is $275 per vehicle. The amount it
tied to how much they paid last year in registration fees.
People age 65 years or older who don’t drive but have state
identification card also can apply for the minimum rebate.
The rebate program sought by Guinn had been a sticking point
on the state’s two-year, $5.9 billion budget. The governor had said he would
veto a budget that did not include a taxpayer rebate.
Although truckers got the shaft for their commercial
vehicles, their cars, pickups, SUVs or motorcycles are eligible – as long as
they don’t owe the Department of Motor Vehicles any money.
According to The Associated Press, more than 12,000
Nevada residents owe the DMV a total of $4.7 million, mostly from bounced
checks, and won’t get any rebates unless they clear up their old debts.
The state will begin distributing $300 million in rebates –
2.1 million checks – in September.