Truckers who would have
faced an immediate increase in costs under a bill in California will now
have until the first of the year - if the bill passes.
AB1767 would raise the
weight-based IRP fee in California. The bill, which has passed the Assembly,
is now before the Senate. It 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
The original version
of the bill called for the fee hike to take effect immediately on passage
of the bill. However, now it will, if passed, take effect Jan. 1, 2004.
Ray Sotero, a spokesman
for bill sponsor Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, said work on the bill was
delayed in part by the current budget battle in the state. However, it
is still under consideration.
"It's still part
of the legislative mix," he said. "We have until early September
to get it out of the House; otherwise, it might be a two-year bill." At
this point, the bill does not carry the two-year designation.
Land Line first
reported on the possible increase June 18.
Anita Gore, a spokeswoman
for the Department of Finance, said 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
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.
--by Mark H. Reddig,
Mark Reddig can be reached