Bill to raise IRP fees before Senate panel in California

| Friday, July 11, 2003

A bill to raise the weight-based IRP fee in California has passed the Assembly and is now before the Senate.

AB1767 would increase the total fee from $1,700 to $2,420, an increase of 42 percent. 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.

Land Line first reported on the possible increase June 18.

Anita Gore, a spokeswoman for the Department of Finance, said that because of a new law in the year 2000, California changed from calculating its fee categories based on unladen weight to using laden weight, which put it in compliance with how most member states in the International Registration Plan operate. The plan is an agreement among states and Canadian provinces that manages reciprocal registration fees.

The 2000 bill in California was supposed to be "revenue neutral," meaning it was supposed to neither add nor subtract from the state's revenue. But instead, the change left the state highway fund short - some media reports say as much as $160 million short.

State officials calculated that an increase of 42 percent would be necessary to make up the difference - the exact amount of fee increase being proposed.

AB1767 passed the House 47-0. It is now on the Senate floor awaiting final approval. There is no vote scheduled yet, and the Senate could act any time before September.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

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

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