The Legislative Counsel Bureau has ruled Nevada senior citizens who don't have a car but still have a driver's license are eligible to get the $75 rebate approved by Gov. Kenny Guinn and the Legislature.
The plan was designed to rebate $300 million in excess tax revenue to Nevadans by returning the money they paid in vehicle registration during calendar year 2004. Lawmakers added non-driving seniors to that list, saying those with a valid DMV ID card would also be eligible.
Seniors who still have a registered vehicle would get their rebate the same way as every other Nevada vehicle owner. But after the session, senior groups pointed out that specifying an ID card seemed to exclude non-driving seniors who still have a driver's license, but no car.
Legislative Counsel Brenda Erdoes issued an opinion this week stating the legislative intent was to provide seniors who don't own a car with the minimum $75 rebate whether they hold an ID card or a driver's license.
Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said one of those two pieces of ID is required for those seniors to prove they lived in Nevada during 2004 and, therefore, qualify for the rebate.
"We modified Governor Guinn's original rebate plan to refund money to as many people as possible," she said adding that the intent was never to exclude non-driving seniors who still have a license.
Tom Jacobs of DMV said, "the ultimate goal is to ensure those who qualify to receive a rebate get one but that they don't get two."
Jacobs said the department's information technology staff is working on that problem.
He said most cases will be clear. Those with ID cards instead of licenses qualify. Those who have a vehicle registered in their name qualify.
He said the problem area is those who have a driver's license but the computer can't clearly say whether they own a vehicle or not.
He said within a week or so, DMV will announce a phone number where those with questions - including seniors who feel they being left out - can get answers.
Meanwhile, Bank of America is preparing to print and mail checks rebating the fees paid in 2004 to register 1.8 million vehicles. Every vehicle will qualify for at least $75 even if it's an old one that only cost the minimum $33 to register. The maximum rebate is set at $275 even though it costs significantly more to register new luxury vehicles.
Those checks are supposed to be in the mail before the end of the month.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.