House Debates Transportation Fees

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(Host) By a vote of 85 to 51, the House gave its preliminary approval this afternoon to legislation that raises more than 100 different transportation fees. The proposal will boost car registration fees by $7 a year; it also increases license renewal fees and vanity plate fees. The legislation is designed to raise nearly $10 million for local road and bridge repair work.

Rockingham Representative Michael Obuchowksi said many of the fees have not been raised over 10 years and he urged members to support the bill:

(Obuchowski) “And what we are faced with now is crumbling transportation infrastructure. It’s our desire to at least initiate a program to correct that situation.”

(Host) But Burlington Representative Carina Driscoll opposed the bill because she felt the fees were little more than a regressive tax:

(Driscoll) “I urge the body to consider doing something brave and deny these transportation fees and really say, ‘If I want to raise revenues in the state, if I want to raise taxes, how can I do it in a way that’s much more progressive than sneaking in hidden fee increases that for the most part will go unnoticed by most Vermonters except for those that are hurt most by it.'”

(Host) The measure will come up final approval in the House on Wednesday.

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