City to ask state to reconsider gas tax

Carson City officials likely will ask the state Transportation Board in February to renegotiate payment of the city's $19 million obligation to construction of the freeway.

Carson City Manager John Berkich said Tuesday the city is in negotiations with state officials to rethink payment of the city's obligation, funded by a 5-cent gas tax.

"We've met on that, and we believe it is in the best, long-term interest of Carson city to bond and buy out our obligation to NDOT to address issues to Carson City's local traffic problems," Berkich said.

The city is considering a variety of options from outright repayment of what's left of the debt to paying the debt over a longer term. Recently, Carson transportation commissioners suggested bonding to pay the city's debt to NDOT and provide funds for projects such as the proposed expansion of Curry and Roop streets.

Susan Martinovich, Nevada Department of Transportation assistant director, said state officials are reviewing the plan, but said state and city officials "still need to negotiate" the details.

With interest, the state estimated a $23 million contribution from Carson City before the end of the agreement in 2013. Carson City officials agreed to the 5-cent gas tax in 1996 and levied the tax in 1997. With that tax, the state agreed in 1996 to fund the first phase of the Carson freeway.

So far, the state has collected $8.2 million from Carson City and spent about $7.8 million on the freeway project.


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