Higher IRP fees are now law in California

| 10/17/2003

California truckers will face higher IRP fees and could face an increase every single year from now on because of new rules signed into law recently by the governor.

The General Assembly recently passed the Senate version of a bill that would increase weight-based IRP fees in the state starting in 2004. The new law, which started as Senate Bill 1055, will increase the fees 21 percent in the first year.

However, if the new law does not bring in as much revenue as the state expects, then the fees could go up within a year to 34 percent higher than their current level in 2005. And the law contains a clause that would increase the fee along with California’s rate of inflation.

An Assembly version of the bill, AB1767, passed the lower chamber earlier this year, but stalled on the Senate floor. Meanwhile, the Senate version, which had stalled since late May, was amended and passed by the Assembly Sept. 10. The Senate agreed with the amendments and sent it to the governor Sept. 11. He signed it Oct. 8.

For standard 18-wheelers, the fee, which according to OOIDA’s Business Services division is now $1,700, would increase initially under the bill to $2,064. If that did not raise the expected level of income, it could go as high as $2,271 the next year.

The new law states that afterward, “The department [of Motor Vehicles] would be required to adjust the fees by increasing each fee in an amount equal to the increase in the California Consumer Price Index for the current year, as calculated by the Department of Finance.”

The higher fees would be triggered if the state receives less than $789 million.

Truckers who run all their miles in California would pay the entire fee; those who run part of their miles there would pay based on what percentage of their total miles they run in California.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig can be reached at mark_reddig@landlinemag.com.