New Jersey governor OKs higher vehicle fees

| 1/19/2006

Acting Gov. Richard Codey signed a bill into law Jan. 11 increasing annual motor vehicle registration fees in New Jersey.

The $3 increase will pay for new medical evacuation helicopters and new state trooper classes. All vehicles, including big trucks, are subject to the increase.

The Legislature signed off on the bill Jan. 9 – the final day of the two-year legislative session.

The higher fees, which take effect July 1, will provide up to $14 million annually for the helicopters and $7 million to train 200 new state troopers a year.

“The MedEvac helicopter program provides a necessary service, and helps save the lives of New Jersey motorists by getting them to the hospitals fast,” Sen. Bernard F. Kenny Jr., D-Hudson County, New York’s Newsday reported.

The MedEvac program has been supported by a $1 vehicle registration fee since 1992. Additional dollars are needed for upkeep and replacement of the four helicopters that average 15 years of service.

Of the $3 increase, $2 will go for the helicopters and $1 for the new trooper classes.