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Auto Fee Rollback Deal Moving Closer To Passage

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Legislative Session Coverage

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – The Florida House is at odds with the Senate over a plan to reduce fees for motorists in the Sunshine State. The Senate wants the rollbacks to happen all at once while the House is putting together a plan that would phase in the reductions.

The House Appropriations Committee passed the phased-in measure which would take five-years to complete. According to the bills, an individual driver would eventually save $12 on annual registration fees.

The phased-in approach would begin in July 2014 and the fee reduction would amount to $2.40 in the first year, said Rep. Steve Crisafulli, who presented the amended version. The first-year fee reduction would cost the state about $44 million in revenue, he said. Once fully implemented, the fee reduction would cost the state about $224 million.

The panel’s rewrite of the bill (SB 1832) also would preserve a decades-old tax break to insurance companies. Those companies pay a state tax on insurance premiums but also get a rebate worth 15 percent of the salary paid to their workers.

The measure that unanimously passed the Senate would eliminate the tax break to make up the lost money for the lower vehicle-registration fees.

House committee members didn’t say how the state would make up the money lost from the rollback in motor vehicle fees if the tax break for insurers is retained.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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