Florida trims annual vehicle fees

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, April 10, 2014

Florida truckers and other drivers will soon save a few bucks when paying vehicle license fees.

Spurred by Gov. Rick Scott’s “It’s Your Money” tax relief plan, a new law will save most vehicle owners about $25 on registrations.

Previously SB156, the new law will eventually trim about $400 million from the fees and surcharges applied to license plate purchases, replacement or transfers and vehicle registration. The reductions are slated to take effect Sept. 1, 2014.

“This will result in an annual savings of $25 per typical motor vehicle and will let families keep nearly $400 million of their hard-earned money in their own pockets,” Scott said in prepared remarks.

The fee increases were implemented in 2009 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist. He enacted the increase to help close a state budget shortfall.

As the state government anticipates more than $800 million in surplus revenues in the next year, Scott has advocated for $500 million in tax and fee cuts in the months leading up to his re-election bid.

Crist, a Republican turned Democrat, is his opponent in November.

Specifically, truckers and motorists will benefit by reducing the fee for issuance of original, duplicate or transfer license plates, or transfer or duplicate registration certificates from $5 to $2.50. The service charge that is applied when using an automated vending facility or printer dispenser machine to issue a license plate sticker will be trimmed from $3 to $1. Also, motor vehicle registrations or registration renewal license plates and validation stickers for retroflection material will be reduced from $1.50 to 50 cents.

The surcharge on the license tax will be reduced from $4 to $2. The juvenile programs surcharge on the license tax will also be reduced from $5.50 to $1.

The fee relief swept through the statehouse without a single vote in opposition.

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