In July an “Advisory Working Group” got underway with an assignment that came from the 2021 Nevada Legislature when they passed AB 413. The assigned study is intended for the Advisory Working Group to develop proposals for the 2023 Nevada Legislature which would provide a sustainable source of funding to meet the needs of all different users of modes of transportation. The proposal(s) submitted must all take into account social and user transportation equity and fit into the state’s objectives of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. At least two specified proposals must receive analysis from the group – (1) A Utah Road Usage Charge Program; and, (2) a proposal from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Nevada Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Doug Busselman is one of the 29 members of the Advisory Working Group.
The fourth meeting of the group was held on Tuesday, November 9th and as part of the completed tasks to this point, agreement was reached on the principles that will be used to evaluate the various multiple concepts that might be included in the formation of the proposal.
These approved seven principles, are aimed at completing this phrase … “As guiding principles in the pursuit of this objective, Nevada’s sustainable transportation funding mechanism(s) should be capable of:
Financial sustainability - yielding sufficient revenue that correlates with ongoing maintenance needs and demand for future transportation needs regardless of changes in population, vehicle technologies, ownership, travel patterns, fuel sources or decreases in consumer spending.
Flexibility - funding a wide range of transportation-related projects, programs or priorities across various agencies to meet the needs of system users across all modes.
User equity - recovering a share of the costs from those who use the transportation network.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions - aligning with state transportation greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Social equity - improving the distribution impact on historically underserved communities.
Sufficiency - generating sufficient revenue over targeted investment timeframes for existing and future transportation needs.
Transparency/Efficiency and Ease of Compliance - simple to explain, with awareness of how funds are used, cost-effective and readily administered at statewide and local levels.
The next meeting for the working group will be in January and will include review of data on various revenue generating concepts and weighing those revenue systems (in part or on a whole) with the principles outlined above.
When Nevada Farm Bureau voting delegates meet in Fallon next week (Friday, November 19) consideration might be given to policy positions on a couple of key points embodied in a number of the funding concepts being evaluated. From a Farm Bureau perspective, we will need to have some idea on where we stand with regard to “indexing” (basically a formula system where assessments are pre-programmed to increase…Washoe and Clark Counties each have their own system where annual increases in the local charges on fuel taxes are programmed to increase.) We also need to determine views on milage charges based on road use (this is part of the Utah plan and not only addresses gas/diesel fueled vehicles, but also other forms of vehicles such as electric, hybrid or hydrogen.)