FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2001
AUSTIN, TX--On Tuesday, May 1, state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, passed Senate Bill 1520 in the full Senate that reduces the $1 fee added to the registration of vehicles to 35 cents.
Last session a $1 fee was added to the registration of vehicles in counties with more than 50,000 vehicles. The fee generated about $14.4 million in fiscal year 2000 and is estimated to generate about that much each year.
"This fee was originally set to upgrade the Texas Department of Transportation's (TxDOT) titling computer system," explained Sen. Lucio. "The cost for this upgrade was reported at $29 million by the department, so when the bill goes into effect on September 1, 2004, there will be $59 million in the fund, much more than the projected cost."
In the past, vehicle registration and titling transactions relied exclusively on paper. In 1986, TxDOT initiated an automated registration and titling system (RTS) to streamline these transactions.
SB 1520 allows TxDOT to continue to use a portion of the reduced fee, 25 cents, that will result in $8 million for each biennium for maintenance and upkeep of their computer system. The remaining 10 cents of the 35 cents must be used to defray the cost of issuing disabled parking placards.
"This bill will provide $1 million a year for disabled placards," added Sen. Lucio. "It should go a long way in helping our disabled Texans who need these placards."
Note: Legislative Director Daniel Esparza is handling this legislation.