This is a lengthy diatribe and I apologize, but I was asked if I seriously thought that $30-40 could cost someone a car. I do, and I think it could cost them a lot more.
I think by increasing state registration by 60% could have an adverse on part of the population that don’t necessarily have an extra $30-40 laying around, one month a year. Yes, you and I, and most of the folks who will read this can absorb an extra $30-40 but I think there are a lot of people you interact with daily that can’t. I believe there are people who will read this who will find it hard to find another $30-40.
I have children (more than 1) who are of driving age. I see them trying to find enough money for routine vehicle maintenance, along with state registration and vehicle inspection. Yes, they have been taught how to budget. They have to drive to work, as work is to far to walk or bicycle. If they don’t find that money to register their vehicle, they run the chance of getting a ticket that they will have to pay within 10 days and it is more than the cost of the registration. This starts a vicious cycle that can be hard to get out of.
I ask people I interact with at the barber, retail stores, etc. what part of town do they live. Most will say some place other than within the boundaries of the NFWA. There are many reasons to this, but they do. The only way these people can get to and from their employment is by a registered motor vehicle. They have to drive because they are trying to be conscious of their income/expenditures and simply cannot find housing within their means in the area where they work.
There are a lot of unemployed and under-employed people in the state. To ask them to find another $30-40 per vehicle could be the last tax that puts them in a position that renders them incapable of paying a much needed life bill.
If you add another fee, that seems doable in our minds, it could really have an adverse affect on others that we may not be thinking of. If a person loses their transportation over an increased state tax, and the state, county, city, does not offer another means of mobility that is wrong.
80% of the population lives within the Texaplex, www.texaplex.com. Asking the farmers and ranchers and folks who live in rural Texas, whose transportation infrastructure needs are primarily met, to spend another $30-40 to help build infrastructure that they may rarely or never use is wrong, in my opinion. Seems like fleecing to me.
Do we tax those of us who live within this “Texaplex”? I think it will cost an adverse effect to our employment numbers. I don’t have the answer, but I believe the state needs to look at a bigger comprehensive plan and one that does not hurt Texans who are doing their best with what they currently have.
With the state need, there is also a big problem at the city level. We have over a $1B in road maintenance needs that we can’t meet, and that gap is growing every day. The city has been looking at ways to close that gap for a few years. It seems that “the best” solution is to charge each user of city services (read new charge on your water bill) a usage fee, that is in the realm of this state registration fee. I think $30-40 is tough, but if we double it, it makes it even worse for some.
If we upset the apple cart, it will have a negative effect on development and then we have to start wondering about an increase in property taxes. It is a house of cards and every move can topple the whole thing.