The Nevada Legislature voted Wednesday to lower the fee for environmental protection from $100 to $50 and to provide $5 million to cover costs associated with environmental remediation projects.
Under the bill, the state would pay $5.5 million annually to cover the costs associated to the removal of contaminated soil from agricultural land.
The bill also allows the state to increase the annual environmental protection fund from $1 million to $5 billion and allow for a $500 fee for people to use water wells in their homes, instead of requiring them to pay an additional fee.
The proposal has been pushed by a coalition of environmental organizations, business groups and consumer advocates, who say the fee is unfair and expensive.
The Nevada Department of Environmental Quality says the fees, which are based on land value and amount to a tax on a person’s land, are a “grossly inefficient use of taxpayer dollars.”
The state already provides $500 per year for people who use water or sewer wells to protect their properties.