Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021 | 7 p.m.
CARSON CITY — Nevada lawmakers aren’t sure how the state should reimburse people who paid a $1 per transaction technology fee at the Department of Motor Vehicles that the state Supreme Court three months ago ruled unconstitutional.
Members of the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee on Wednesday did not approve a $6 million proposal presented by DMV Director Julie Butler to send postcards to the roughly 2.35 million individuals and 240,000 businesses owed refunds. The cards outlined how to get money back or opt-out and donate it.
The panel elected not to vote on the work program to facilitate the refunds and asked Butler to return after more review. The fees were intended to help the department upgrade its aging computer system.
Butler said she and the state Treasurer estimated that it could cost from $50 to $60 to issue each $1 reimbursement check. The department planned to send postcards outlining how individuals could request paper checks or online transfers to get their money back. She said sending paper checks could overwhelm the state controller’s office and didn’t account for people who might not want to be reimbursed.
The reimbursements will conclude a contentious, years-long battle between Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature over whether Nevada’s constitutional requirement that taxes and fees win approval from two-thirds of lawmakers applies to extensions.
In 2019 after proposals to extend the tax and fee failed to pass, legislative attorneys advised Democratic leaders that they could prolong the technology fee and a payroll tax with simple majorities. Republicans sued and the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that extending revenue measures required