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April 16, 2014

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Governor signs bill that could raise gasoline prices in Clark County

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed bills to allow an increase in the gasoline tax in Clark County and to continue an increased payroll tax on businesses.

Sandoval on Wednesday signed 33 bills, many providing money for state agencies to replace equipment or upgrade computer systems.

For instance, $1 million was appropriated in Assembly Bill 475 for one-time building maintenance projects and technology purchases for the Legislature.

As promised earlier, the governor signed Assembly Bill 413 to let the Clark County Commission raise the tax on gasoline to pay for road construction. The tax could be increased annually for three years, based on the rising cost of highway and street maintenance and construction.

For the tax to take effect, the commission must approve it by a two-thirds vote by Oct. 1. It would begin to be collected in January 2014.

There were estimates during the Legislature that the tax would add three cents to the cost of a gallon of gas in the first year.

In 2016, voters in Clark County would be asked if they wanted to continue the annual increases.

On another issue, the 2011 Legislature voted to extend an increase on the statewide payroll tax on businesses to July. But in his budget, Sandoval extended the tax until 2015.

Businesses pay a 1.17 percent tax each quarter on total wages that exceed $62,500. It was due to be reduced to 0.63 percent in July.

Sandoval’s plan was approved to keep the rate at 1.17 percent for two more years, though the rate would be based on wages paid in excess of $85,000, giving small businesses a break.

The bill also retains a $200 business license fee set to go down to $100 on July 1.

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