Study Reflects What Car Owners Pay in Clark County… and Why

A recent survey shows Nevada drivers are spending $200 less than the national average on car fuel, and $700 more than the national average on car fees.

The survey, “Car-Ownership Costs By State,” looks at four categories: Repairs (year 2012), Taxes/fees (Kelley Blue Book), Gasoline (year 2012), and Insurance (years 2006-2010).

According to Kevin Malone, Public Information Officer at Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Nevada’s state and local governments collect vehicle-related taxes and fees to help maintain and build roads.

The website gives details on Nevada vehicle taxes and fees.

Annual Fees

What you pay every year when you register or re-register your motor vehicle:

Registration Fee. $33 for vehicles weighing less than 6,000 pounds.

Governmental Services Tax. Based on the Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), minus the amount by which the car’s value has depreciated. The tax is approximately 1.4 percent of the MSRP, minus depreciation.

Supplemental Governmental Services Tax (in Clark and Churchill counties). Equal to 25 percent of the Governmental Services Tax. Funds road projects and local government services.

Non-Annual DMV Taxes/Fees

Driver’s License Fee. $22. $17 for people 65 and older. A Nevada driver’s license is valid for four years. Every eight years the driver needs to renew it in person.

Title Fee and Title Processing Fee. $28.25. Car owner pays these fees once, when purchasing a vehicle.

Other Taxes/Fees and Car-Related Expenses

Emissions Testing Fee. $41.50 is the highest fee allowed; $16-$24 is more common. Results are valid for 90 days. Car owners in the Las Vegas area need to get annual smog checks on 1968-model-year vehicles and newer.

Gas Tax. The main gasoline tax in Nevada is 24 cents per gallon. Existing taxes are projected to bring 18 percent less revenue for road projects by 2016, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

To address the expected shortfall from the state gas tax, legislators recently approved a new inflation-indexed tax, and have just started considering the concept of a Vehicle-Miles-Traveled (VMT) Tax. One concern is civil liberties issues, connected to the question of how to track miles traveled per person. Potential VMT revenue would be huge—in 2011, Nevada had 1,700,829 licensed drivers who collectively logged 24.2 billion VMT within the state’s borders, according to TRIP, a non-profit, national transportation research group.

Parking downtown and at the airport. Parking downtown near City Hall can cost up to $9 per day. Jace Radke, senior public information officer for the City of Las Vegas, says that parking fees go to the city—to pay for salaries of parking enforcement officers, and maintenance of the parking meters.

Short-term parking at McCarran Airport can cost up to $6 for three hours. John Shumway, parking supervisor at McCarran, says that parking fees go to the airport. Clark County owns and operates McCarran, and the airport is self-sustaining—no money comes from the county general fund.

Vehicle Sales Tax. In Clark County, it’s the 8.1 percent county sales tax on the gross receipts of the sale (actual purchase price, plus smog checks, documentation fees, administrative fees, credit checks, and other items). Buyer pays this tax once to the car dealer. (Private-party transactions have no sales tax.)

For Nevadans who use the state’s roads and bridges, the study offers a reminder to do a regular review of your transportation costs, in order to save as much as possible on car expenses.

 Recommended by the Editors:

Make sure your vehicle is protected for road trips and everyday driving. Contact an Allstate Agent near you.

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