Editorial: New DMV Fee is Regressive, Hurts Working Families
The Raleigh News and Observer is out with a new editorial condemning the $153 million in new DMV fees that NC families will pay this year, thanks to politicians in Raleigh. This is just the latest in a series of steps that have made NC more regressive in revenue collection.
The New Year brought another regressive state tax, this one disguised as DMV fees.
As of Jan. 1, fees for driver’s licenses, ID cards, car registrations and other documents went up about 30 percent. The new costs are not terribly high – an eight-year license renewal will jump from $32 to $40 – but the reason is high-handed. Fees should support the actual costs of providing services, but in this case they are simply a quiet way for the Republican-led legislature to collect more revenue while Republican leaders boast about cutting taxes.
Overall, the hike in DMV fees will cost motorists and vehicle owners an extra $150 million a year. The increase is needed to help offset income tax cuts that will cost the state at least $700 million when fully implemented in 2017. The bottom line is that middle- and low-income people lose on the shift. The pauper and the millionaire will both spend an extra 30 percent in DMV fees, but the millionaire will get a vastly larger savings than the pauper from the income-tax cuts.