Nevada truckers deleted from rebate plan

| Monday, July 25, 2005

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.

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