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It’s a ‘no’ on Question 1: Nye voters overwhelmingly reject fuel tax

Nye County voters overwhelmingly rejected Question 1 on Tuesday, a ballot measure that would’ve added a 5-cent tax per gallon on diesel and certain special fuels to help build and maintain public highways.

According to Nye County election officials, 6,799 voters said “no” to the proposal; 2,910 said “yes.”

Nye County maintains approximately 3,005 miles of roadway. It’s a vast network for a relatively small population of drivers, argued supporters of the measure, who said the county does not have enough money to operate, maintain, renew and expand the existing road system to the standards that the community desires without a new source of revenue.

Currently, there is no Nye County tax on diesel fuel. The proposed tax would’ve increased the cost of a “fill-up” by $1.25 for a 25-gallon tank, officials projected, and generated approximately $800,000 annually to be used for road maintenance and improvements in Nye County.

But opponents of Question 1 argued that many residents in Nye County already struggle with basic needs and increasing costs for diesel would constrain their budgets. Most large trucks use diesel. Raising the cost of diesel fuel through taxation affects everyone opponents said. Transportation costs are passed on through the price paid for delivery of food and goods — there would be a financial impact on businesses, specifically, transportation owner/operators who deliver the goods we need if the measure passed. Diesel fuel is already more expensive than gasoline, opponents added. The state diesel fuel tax is 4 cents more a gallon and the federal diesel fuel tax is 5.9 cents more a gallon for diesel, so diesel is already taxed at more than the 9 cents per gallon for Nye County gas tax, they said.

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