Bad Bill of the Week: SB 691 – Raising Rates on Driving

Nobody likes going to the DMV. The lines are long, the wait is longer, and the service is generally subpar most times. It’s hard to imagine how people can tolerate waiting at the DMV without going mad.

While the DMV experience is already dreadful, Senate Bill 691 seeks to also make it more expensive.

SB 691, sponsored by Sen. Clark Jenkins (D – Edgecombe) is intended to raise certain fees charged by the Department of Motor Vehicles, such as renewing your license, by up to 30 percent.  This increase in fees is intended to help fund Governor Perdue’s North Carolina Mobility Fund.  The NC Mobility Fund is a program designed to address flaws with current transportation funding, such as the Highway Trust Fund and the Highway Fund, that are subject to the limitations of the Equity Formula.  The Equity Formula “requires State Transportation Improvement Program funds be distributed equitably among regions of the state.”  The NC Mobility Fund, however, is not bound by the Equity Formula in order to address transportation needs in a more efficient manner.

However, in order to fund this program, Gov. Perdue has decided to rely heavily upon fee increases to raise revenue rather than spending cuts in other areas of transportation.  These larger fees hurt North Carolinians in the worst way during this recession.  Increasing the costs of both individuals and businesses during an economic downturn is not an effective way to help people struggling with unemployment and businesses barely breaking even.

Ultimately, this is just an example of the state government failing to address real issues with its current highway funding.  Rather than address the inflexible and out-dated equity formula, this bill and the NC Mobility fund simply tries to bring in more money through fees to throw into a potential highway slush fund for whatever pet-project the governor wants.

Instead, the government should seek to address issues with the equity formula or work to move funds from the Highway Trust Fund or Highway Fund to the mobility fund so that current road issues can be addressed properly.  As it is, the current Highway Trust Fund’s Secondary Road Program has been found to waste millions of dollars building “roads to nowhere” in order to fulfill the antiquated equity formula.

Rather than raising rates on North Carolina motorists, state lawmakers should identify ways to more efficiently allocate the money already available for our roads and highways.

Because it seeks to seize more of our money rather than explore sensible spending reform options for transportation, SB 691 is this week’s Bad Bill of the Week.

This article was posted in Bad Bill of the Week by Paul Valone on June 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM.

© 2011 The Civitas Institute. Visit us on the web at www.nccivitas.org.
This article can be found at http://www.nccivitas.org/2011/bad-bill-of-the-week-sb-691-raising-rates-on-driving/

Comments on this article

  • 1

    Richard
    Richard Jun 22, 2011 at 6:45

    Everything is going up in price BUT my paycheck, in fact it has gone down, by higher taxes

  • 2

    Vernon Hill
    Vernon Hill Jun 22, 2011 at 8:58

    Clark Jenkins needs to be voted out of office for stupidity and failure to realize we do not need any increases on us the people.
    Term Limits would resolve these idopts in Raleigh that have no feelings for the people.

    Anyone in the County, State, DC that have been in office for more than 8 years need to be sent home as they have held office for to long.

  • 3

    GLADYS B. BEADLING
    GLADYS B. BEADLING Jun 22, 2011 at 11:46

    CLARK JENKINS IS NOT REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE! HE NEEDS TO BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE. THE DMV NEEDS TO LOOK AT THEIR OPERATIONS AND DETERMINE HOW THEY CAN OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY. LET THOSE IN CHARGE TAKE A 15% CUT ACROSS THE BOARD FOR ONE THING. AND LOOK AT THOSE BIG PENSIONS WE’RE PAYING

    STOP RAISING OUR TAXES!!!!!!

  • 4

    Charles Forshee
    Charles Forshee Jun 22, 2011 at 12:20

    This would have an adverse affect for people not employed and is already higher than neccessary. Every project in process has 4 or 5 chiefs and maybe 2 laborers doing the job

  • 5

    Steve
    Steve Jun 22, 2011 at 16:38

    Why doesn’t the NC DOT start charging a license fee (and insist a license be affixed) on everything that runs down the road that has a motor? I see unlicensed motorbikes and small scooters chugging along all the time. No license at all. And they likely ARE NOT INSURED, even tho they could cause an accident.

  • 6

    michael Rockwell
    michael Rockwell Jun 23, 2011 at 3:32

    gov.peedee, 2 more and out! I have had enough. I thought our Republicans are moving to stop this. It is not a Fee, it is a Tax, and a Tax is Tax.

  • 7

    Larry Wright
    Larry Wright Jun 23, 2011 at 6:43

    The legislature needs to cut spending and NOT raise any taxes or fees.

  • 8

    Frank Clements
    Frank Clements Jun 26, 2011 at 16:21

    This bill is nothing more than an increase in taxation. Gov. onetimePerdone doesn’t need it, she just want’s it to continue spending just as all the other democrates do. Our state, like the nation, doesn’t have a revenue problem but rather has a spending problem. In the end, the democrates will always want more and more and before long they will have it all. Then what? Stop it here and stop it now!

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