Nevada locales near diesel fuel tax collection authority

May 17, 2019

Keith Goble

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Fueling in Nevada could soon make a bigger dent in the pocketbooks of professional drivers if a bill becomes law allowing counties that can’t assess a fuel tax to levy one. In return, Nevada would become the first state to make public funds available for truck parking

The state’s fuel tax rate is set at 23 cents for gas and 27 cents for diesel.

The Assembly Taxation Committee voted to advance a bill to authorize county commissions in counties with fewer than 100,000 people to add a tax of up to 5 cents per gallon on diesel purchases.

The bill would enable 15 of the state’s 17 counties to charge more at the pump. The other two counties – Clark and Washoe – already are allowed to collect extra fuel tax on diesel. All other counties in the state can charge a nickel tax on gas.

Additional diesel revenue raised in rural counties would be required to be used for local road construction and maintenance. A portion of tax collections (up to 10%) would be routed to the Nevada Department of Transportation. The affected revenue would be used to construct, maintain or repair truck parking.

Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, said truck parking is a huge issue around the state.

“(Truckers) need to find a place to park and rest for 10 hours. Having more truck parking is absolutely essential,” Enos testified.

He highlighted parking issues along Interstate 80.

“We see trucks back up all over the I-80 corridor. We have quite a few paid truck spots, but we need more,” he said. “We also need lighting. Lighting is another issue to help provide safety for that driver who is sleeping.

“(The fuel tax bill) is a great step to address it.”

Another provision is included for eligible IFTA carriers to receive a reimbursement of the county tax consumed outside of Nevada. The provision would be applied in counties that sell more than 10 million gallons of diesel annually

County commissions would need to pass an ordinance with two-thirds majority to implement the extra tax. Another option would be for a majority of voters to approve a question during a general election.

The bill, SB48, now moves to the Assembly floor. If approved there, it would move to the governor’s desk. Senate lawmakers already approved it on a 17-4 vote.

Electronic proof of insurance

The Assembly Growth and Infrastructure Committee voted on May 16 to advance a bill that is intended to simplify one of the burdens of proof commercial drivers are required to provide law enforcement upon request.

State law now requires most commercial drivers to provide a hard copy of their certificate of vehicle registration. The same requirement is in place for proof of vehicle insurance.

SB71 would permit truck drivers to show proof of registration via their smartphone. In addition, affected drivers would be authorized to provide proof of their user’s license via an electronic device.

The bill would relieve law enforcement from any liability for damage to an electronic device when it’s presented as proof of registration.

The full Assembly now can take up the bill for consideration. If approved there, it would move back to the Senate for approval of changes before it heads to the governor’s desk.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.