For Immediate Release
March 30, 2016
Contact: Rep. Don Turner
House Democrats Succeed in Raising VT Cost of Living Again
Montpelier, Vt. – On Wednesday March 30, 2016, the House of Representatives voted 104-40 in favor of the Transportation Bill (H.877), which will support the $618 million budget of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) in the next fiscal year. The FY 2017 budget will cost $2 million more than it did in 2016.
The new transportation bill will generate a little over $11 million by raising Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) fees. Vermonters will have to pay a higher price for all DMV-related activities such as annual and biennial motor vehicle registration, transferring ownership of registered vehicles, new and replacement number plates and vanity plates, driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and non-driver ID cards, and vehicle inspection certificates to name a few. In addition, the state will charge a new $80 fee for reinstating a suspended registration, five new State Highway access permit fees, and raise the annual motor vehicle emission (“clean air”) fee. These changes will take effect on July 1, 2016.
Since 2006, the transportation budget has grown by a staggering 75%. While the government is responsible for maintaining the state’s infrastructure, and VTrans has used funds to improve roads and bridges, Majority Democrats should be held accountable for driving up the cost of living in Vermont once again. This bill serves as another discouraging example of Montpelier continuing the reckless and unsustainable cycle of overspending and over taxation. As a result, it will saddle citizens with a higher tax burden and make our state a less affordable place to live in 2017. Vermonters deserve better!