TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — Lawmakers could park a bill on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk within the week to reduce vehicle registration fees.
The Senate on Tuesday unanimously agreed to roll back a controversial 2009 hike on motor vehicle fees, while the House version (HB 7123) is lined up to go before the lower chamber on Wednesday.
The proposals would potentially save Floridians between $20 and $25 per vehicle registration, with the total depending on the size of the vehicle.
“We’re in a position now where we can return almost $400 million a year to our constituents, to families, to individuals, to business owners,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican who sponsored the proposal (SB 156).
Scott’s office said he would sign the measure if approved by the Legislature. Earlier, Scott offered praise for the proposal.
“I like to get these fees reduced as fast as we can. I want to get the money back in Floridians’ hands,” Scott said after a state Cabinet meeting Tuesday. “We have a budget surplus. We’ve had a big turnaround in our economy. Our budget’s grown now. After this we’re going to have a big surplus, so the faster we can get it back to them, I’d like to get it back to them.”
The reduction would collectively save motorists about $309 million during the upcoming 2014-15 budget year.
The Florida House could pass the bill (SB 156) later this week. But the lower fees, however, won’t kick in until this September, meaning that drivers who renew their cars now will have to wait until 2015 before benefiting from the rollback.
State legislators have pledged to cut taxes and fees by roughly $500 million this year. They are considering other types of tax breaks, including sales tax holidays for back-to-school supplies and hurricane supplies.
“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”