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April 26, 2015

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Roberson to seek reduction in car registration tax

Updated Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 | 4:20 p.m.

Sen. Michael Roberson

Sen. Michael Roberson

State Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said today that he wants to cut the taxes Nevadans pay on their vehicles in half.

“It costs too much for a person in Nevada to register their car,” he said.

He said he hears from Nevadans all the time that they’re unhappy with the amount they have to pay to register their vehicles.

That cost has increased during the past few years because the Legislature hiked the Governmental Services Tax -- a tax Nevadans have to pay when registering a vehicle every year-- following the 2009 legislative session.

The governor’s budget accounts for $63 million in car taxes each year of the next two fiscal years. Roberson’s bill would cut that revenue in half, opening a hole in the governor’s budget that he said could be fixed with money coming in from a potential sales tax on services.

“If tax reform is doable this session, one of the first places I’d look is cutting the

Governmental Services Tax,” Roberson said.

The increased vehicle registration tax is part of a larger package of taxes passed to pave over budget gaps opened during the economic downturn.

But Roberson said now is the time to reduce those fees for Nevadans because they hit working and lower-income Nevadans the hardest.

He said he plans to ask legislative legal staff on Monday to draft a bill that would “dramatically lower” the cost of registering a car in Nevada.

“I do think that is a regressive tax,” he said. “Car registration fees need to go down.”

Monday is the deadline for legislators to file bill draft requests, which direct legislative legal staff to draft an actual bill.

Roberson said he has not yet talked to Senate Democrats about the bill.

Roberson's bill likely will become a bargaining chip during the debate over how to reform the state's tax structure.

Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, a North Las Vegas Democrat, said the sales tax on services proposal is not a clear way to raise revenue to replace the car fees.

“Is it going to be enough to fund all the things we're supposed to?” she said.

Kirkpatrick also said that a sales tax on services could be as regressive as the car fees, depending on which services the Legislature taxes.

“You have to be thoughtful when you do sales tax on services,” she said. “I believe that we have to look at that and ensure that everybody is paying their fair share. However, what we don't want to do is put a regressive type tax on people who are always paying their fair share.”

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  1. It costs $33.00 plus $1.00 to register your car. Any additional taxes are the result of measures passed by the Nevada State Legislature. Drop the taxes and fill the shortfall by doing what? Increasing the property taxes? Raising the sales taxes? The devil is always in the details.

  2. Senator Michael Roberson has a valid argument. The tax on vehicles is too high. He says he wants it reduced by half. Then he goes on to say that the reduced taxes would be made up by a tax on services. Either way it is regressive. A tax on services would be very costly. How much will it cost to see your doctor, to have trash picked up, get a haircut, have a tired repaired, oil changed, emissions check to register your vehicle, have a Will made, etc. The cost in a services tax will be much more. As for those without a car, you will pay when you ride the bus, take a taxi, etc.

  3. If Nevada would cut the cost of registration, mor people would choose to register their cars instead of keeping the out of state plates. There are about 6 or 7 in my neighborhood with plates from California, Utah and even New York.

  4. So he's basically going to raise taxes on the poorer people, and people without a car. So what if you take a tax away from one area and add it too another, which mostlikely will be more money in taxes over a year.

  5. Go for it Mr. Roberson. antigov: you might not be into it, but you can report your neighbors--30 days to get plates when you move to Nevada--law enforcement will ticket and/or Nv Dpt of Tax will send them a bill plus fraud penalties. Oregon plates are red flags for the revenuers--no sales tax and something like $19.50 to register a vehicle to a po box.

  6. Hawaii, Alaska, California, Nevada and Connecticut in that order are the top most expensive states to own a car according to Forbes.

  7. Flymart74, check out this link:

    It explains the $33 fee and then the additional "Governmental Services Tax" -- the subject of this story -- that is levied on vehicles.

  8. Give me break, spending can be cut at least 20% across the board. Let me see the entire state budget and I guarantee you I can easily find areas to cut.

  9. My neighbor has lived here for twenty five years. None of his vehicles are registered in Nevada. He says it's easy. His "primary residence" is his mother's home out-of-state.

  10. It's always about Fees, User Taxes, Property Taxes,etc.. that proportionately take a larger chunk of Workers Pay, Seniors Retirements and even keeps the Poor poor. We are afraid to adequately tax mining for taking a valuable resource that can only be taken Once. We have the lowest Casino Tax in the country, an Industry that now provides mainly Part Time - No Benefits Jobs and overwhelms our Hospitals and Public services departments. A modest Tax increase is due to offset Property Taxes and exempting the first 100K from those taxes for Resident Owners. As far as an income tax- anyone making over 50K should expect to start paying a Progressive Income Tax to the state. Monies Made In Nevada should have a Tax in Nevada and an Income Tax is Deductible on the Federal Tax.