Shall the Washoe county Board of Commissioners seek state legislation for the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) to obtain necessary additional funding for transportation projects that will reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and repair and maintain roads in the Truckee Meadows?
RENO - The Regional Transportation Commission has often turned to developers to help pay for traffic congestion. Since 2007 those fees have increased more than 200%.
But the RTC says even with that funding, transportation is facing a five-billion dollar shortfall through 2040. Much of that revolves around inflation in street and highway construction. That inflation the RTC says is eroding the purchase power of money generated by gas and diesel taxes.
RTC #5 asks can the RTC along with the Washoe County Commission seek state legislation to obtain necessary additional funding for transportation projects that will reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and repair and maintain roads in the Truckee Meadows?
Gregory Krause, RTC Executive Director, says the question if approved would go to state lawmakers in Carson City who would hammer out the details.
"You are right there are a lot of details as to exactly how you do that. The legislation would have to consider. But we've got a pretty good idea we think it should be the producer price index. It's a national standard based on the most recent lowest bids to do highway construction work. And it if it goes up, 5% then we recommend the fuel taxes are adjusted 5%."
Krause says if passed RTC #5 could translate into thousands of well paying jobs by injecting 250-million dollars into the economy as well as relieve traffic congestion and maintain roads.
Those who oppose the measure say inflation never reverses itself and this tax will only increase overtimes with the size of the shortfall. Nevadans currently pay more than 50-gents a gallon on fuel tax.
Based upon historic inflation rates the tax on regular gasoline would go up two cents in 2010 and for diesel drivers, about 2.4 cents a gallon.