The director of the Department of Transportation says a proposal under consideration would make it harder to lie about the cost of a used vehicle when someone pays their first registration fee. D.O.T. director, Paul Trombino, wants to assign a set value to cars and trucks, instead of letting a buyer report the purchase price.
He says it’s now hard to weed out people who report a lower price to pay a lower registration fee. “Maybe the value is substantially lower than the true value of what the vehicle is. We have an investigative unit department that does at times follow leads up on those issues, they do take time,” Trombino says.
He says the state should be relying on a database of vehicle values that is standard for everyone. “If there’s at least some sort of a value-based for that it would reduce a lot of effort from our perspective of kind of chasing these investigations as they come up, and would have a kind of set level that everyone agrees to, just as they do in the second year or beyond as the for the value of that vehicle,” Trombino explains.
Trombino says relying on a database, along with some other changes, could save the state as much as eight-million-dollars each year.
The D.O.T. is trying to find $50-million in “savings” in the agency’s budget this year. Governor Branstad directed the D.O.T. to come up with that amount to be redirected at road construction, rather than raise the state gas tax.