First our state representatives tried to convince us they needed more gas tax dollars. Then, they realized we knew they were sweeping (stealing) these HURF funds to balance their budget for many years instead of using these funds for highway maintenance and construction and funding DPS.
So, they came up with a new vehicle registration fee. Mr. Campbell and other lawmakers misled us to believe this fee would $17 or $18 per vehicle. However, lawmakers gave John Halikowski, head of ADOT, a blank check so he could determine the final figure ... $32 per vehicle. Mr. Halikowski defended the fee by blaming the fact that some registrations had been paid several years in advance, some vehicles are government exempt and some are nonprofit exempt. (Prescott Courier 12/2/18) Any high school student could have done that research prior to misleading the public with the lower figure. So much for transparency and competence.
Mr. Campbell and other state lawmakers, please revisit this decision. Increasing the gas tax would be fairer to all who use our roads and the services of DPS. However, let’s see how much the current tax actually generates now that HURF funds will be used as intended. Then calculate what increase is actually necessary.
You may call it a vehicle registration fee, but a tax by any other name is still a tax.