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Budget Drives Up Car Fees

June 28, 2003

Re "State Triples the Vehicle License Fee," June 21: Boy, it sure brought tears to my eyes thinking "that people would have to choose between a gallon of milk and registering a car," as one Republican legislator suggested. Which people would those be? Those driving the $50,000 SUVs, or the $100,000 convertibles? Why don't we simply institute a sliding scale, akin to a luxury tax, so that those who can afford large, expensive vehicles pay proportionately more to register them?

While we're at it, let's make a formula that also incorporates gas mileage to determine the registration fee, so that owners of more-efficient cars pay less. Under this scheme, the guy driving the 10-year-old Corolla would still be able to afford some milk, but the guy driving the Hummer might pay $1,000 per year, or maybe think twice before buying such a gargantuan waste of metal and oil. Social engineering? You betcha.

Dave Kosman

San Diego

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Every day the hard-working families of California deal with budgeting their income to pay their ever-increasing bills. We allot amounts for our children's education, health insurance, mortgages, car payments and other costs of living.

As income taxes, health care, education, gas prices and now car registration fees increase, it gets harder for the working-class families to make ends meet. Meanwhile, within their own households, members of our state government feel very few of the effects of the increases they institute. Our leaders are pick-pocketing the citizens with no regard for the chaos they are causing. Do they really think the people of California are so stupid we can't see through the smoke and mirrors enough to know that they are more worried about padding their pet projects than the standard of living they are supposed to be enhancing?

I think it is time for the state to do what thousands of companies do every year. Bring in independent accountants to clean house without the specter of special-interest groups and pet projects hanging over them.

Nicol Reeves

Rancho Santa Margarita

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When will our legislators in the Capitol start working together? We all know we have a budget problem here and unfortunately we will be paying for it. What I cannot understand is how the Republicans think we can start resolving this budget mess if they spend money to stop efforts, such as the lawsuit over increased car registration fees. I am willing to pay more for my registration so CHP officers and teachers can keep their jobs. It is a sacrifice, but it is something we have to do. When will the whiners up there figure it out?

Christina Denkinger

Tarzana

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With vehicle registration fees, the most regressive of all California taxes, about to triple, state Sen. Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) has the right idea: Let's abolish the car tax. To that end McClintock has launched two statewide initiatives, one reducing the registration fee to $1, and the second abolishing the car tax all together by amending the state's Constitution. With the recent turn of events, exemplified by uncontrolled legislative spending and California's $38-billion deficit, taxpayers would be foolish not to support either initiative in an effort to control their own purse strings.

Darwin M. Ochs

Lancaster

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I don't like the idea of increased vehicle fees any more then anyone -- perhaps less, being retired and on a fixed income. As I understand it, however, this is not a new "tax" but merely the implementation of a law written under the Gov. Pete Wilson regime. A provision of that law is that the reduced vehicle fees it called for would automatically revert to their original amount if the state budget surplus disappeared. That surplus, based on a projection of current economic conditions, has, as we all know, changed into a deficit. This deficit, also based on projections, is a result of changed economic conditions and outlook.

Although I am not impressed by Davis, or the Democrats in our state Legislature in general, in this instance they are merely following the law they inherited.

Roger Moon

Pasadena

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Boy, I wish I could take care of my money problems the same way the state does. Let's just raise vehicle registrations, sales tax and whatever else we can think of to get out of this mess that has been created by our elected "leaders."

No one in Sacramento seems to have any common sense, foresight or decent business acumen. The governor is an accomplished fund-raiser and that's it. Maybe if he put half the efforts into running this state that he does raising his own money, we might see some results.

Steve Owen

Solana Beach

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Looks like I'll get my tripled DMV tax bill from the state at the same time I receive my child tax credit from the feds ... how convenient. Sure stimulates the economy.

Jeff Friedman

Santa Clarita

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