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Eye On Boise

A whole new bill

The House Ways & Means Committee has voted unanimously to introduce an entirely new bill on raising car and truck registration fees, proposed this morning by the governor’s office. “This is another attempt at vehicle registration legislation - it’s another approach,” Jason Kreizenbeck, Gov. Butch Otter’s chief of staff, told the committee this morning. It’s a concept developed by Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, he said. “It’s one that the governor endorses and we would like to have considered.”

Like the earlier bill - which was pulled back after a math error was discovered - the new bill would raise heavy truck registration fees by 5 percent, and the governor says he’d convene a task force to study how truck fees should change further. For cars and light trucks, the new bill would change the grouping by age so there are just three groups, rather than five, and older vehicles would see slightly higher increases than in the last bill, but overall, the increases would be lower. By the third year, at full implementation, the bill would raise $31.6 million from increased fees, down from about $33.4 million in the previous bill. The top rate, for the newest cars, would go up to $66 rather than $84. For the oldest cars, it’d go to $42 rather than $36. House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, said he thought the bill’s overall smaller increases would increase “the level of comfort of people as far as their votes to get through the floor of the House - I think that plays a role.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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