| 03.19.2018

Paying more for vehicle registration

Committee sends vehicle registration fee increase to Senate floor

BOISE — The Idaho Senate Transportation Committee sent a bill to the Senate floor Thursday with a 7-2 vote calling for a series of vehicle registration hikes for Idahoans.

The Senate is expected to amend the current language, said Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise.

“We’re trying to figure out how to match up … with what the House wants and likes,” Winder said. “Hopefully as we go through this process, we’ll inch ever closer to a mutually agreeable solution.”

The bill, H.B. 312, proposes a $15 dollar increase on all vehicle registration fees and a $6 increase on motorcycle registration fees. Additionally, hybrid car registration would come with a $100 fee and electric cars with a $150 fee. The fee increases are expected to generate $20 million in new revenue.

Sen. Shawn Keough,R-Sandpoint, said while the intent of the bill is worthy of discussion, he doesn’t think it would solve the state’s transportation problem.

“It’s a step in the right direction, however it potentially falls short of expectations and certainly falls short of the needs for maintenance that have been identified pretty consistently over the last five years,” Keough said.

Keough said there is an estimated $262 million in annual backlog for transportation maintenance, which just keeps the transportation system at status quo.

If the bill is passed on the Senate floor after amendment, it would move to the House and need to be approved by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to go into effect.

George Wood Jr. can be reached at arg news@uidaho.edu

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