Gas tax may extend to 2025 | NevadaAppeal.com

Gas tax may extend to 2025

Robyn Moormeister

A 10- to 13-year extension of the city’s 5-cent hike in gas tax is scheduled for review by city officials Thursday.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss at Thursday’s meeting an ordinance that could extend the 5-cent tax until 2025.

The tax increase, approved in 1997, originally came with a sunset date of 2012.

But if the new ordinance passes later this month, gas rates imposed by the city will remain at 9 cents per gallon, up from 4 cents per gallon in 1997.

The $23 million generated so far by the tax helped to fund the first phase of the Carson City Freeway extension, half of an $87.2 million project by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The city agreed in August to contribute $19 million more in funding to the second phase of the freeway extension, scheduled for completion in 2010, said Carson City Development Services Director Andy Burnham.

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He said the 5-cent tax produces roughly $1.7 million per year in additional funds for the freeway extension and other projects.

“It’s kind of impossible to say how much this will raise because it depends on how much people buy gas,” Burnham said. “But we expect it to go up a bit (from $1.7 million).”

Mayor-elect Marv Teixeira, who was mayor when the city committed to funding Phase 1 of the project 1996, has said he is against the city contributing taxpayer funds to the second phase of the project, and said he would work to get the city’s contribution reduced.

He is currently vacationing in Hawaii, but used the gas tax as part of his campaign platform in September:

“When I committed the 5-cent gas tax toward the Carson Freeway, that was to get NDOT to commit to the project. That commitment cost every man, woman and child $400 in gas tax,” Teixeira said. “That was an unprecedented contribution for a community our size. I did not agree with the additional (funding).”

Mayor Ray Masayko, who leaves office in January, said he supports Phase 2 funding.

“As far as I’m concerned, the people of Carson City are prepared to shoulder the burden of a 5-cent gas tax,” Masayko said. “This is a fair and reasonable contract. The governor says the contract guarantees the project will move forward.”

Burnham said other regional transportation projects to benefit from the gas tax extension are improvements on Fairview Drive, Curry Street and Stewart Street.

“The Fairview project is part of the agreement to expand to accommodate the freeway,” Burnham said.

The freeway is expected to extend from Highway 50 to Fairview by 2006. That portion will cost $4 million-$5 million.

The city will also add bike lanes to Curry Street and expand the road behind Casino Fandango, a $3.5 million project scheduled for construction in 2008.

Stewart is slated for improvement from Moody Street to Roop Street, a $4 million project.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors will discuss the proposed ordinance at Thursday’s meeting, 8:30 a.m. in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

Contact reporter Robyn Moormeister at rmoormeister@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.

Gas tax facts:

• The 5-cent tax increase was passed by the Carson City Board of Supervisors in 1997, with a sunset date of 2012.

• If the new ordinance passes later this month, gas rates will remain at 9 cents per gallon for 10-13 more years, up from 4 cents per gallon in 1997.

• The $23 million already generated by the gas tax helped to fund Phase 1 of the Carson City Freeway extension, the first half of an $87.2 million project by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

• The second phase will cost the city $19 million, said Carson City Development Services Director Andy Burnham.