Leaders of the Iowa House transportation committee have struck a bipartisan deal to try and cover a 200-million dollar shortfall in road funding. The proposal includes increased registration or title fees for cars, trucks and motor homes.
Representative Geri Huser, a Democrat from Altoona, says the goal was to not only raise money, but make the registration fees more equitable. She says that was the most important thing as they know we are going through hard times and didn’t want to place an additional burden on people.
Truck owners now pay only $65 a year under a fee originally set to give farmers a break. Farmers would still get a break on their pickup truck registration, but others would pay based on the weight of the truck. Huser says there are a lot of people who have a real problem with the number of truck owners who are only paying $65, while Huser says she pays $600 for her mini-van.
Representative David Tjepkes, a Republican from Gowrie, says critics complain the proposal only raises 16-million dollars in the first year. But he says after months of work, it’s a good compromise. Tjepkes says you can lay out models and spreadsheets, but until you get a specific bill, nothing will happen legislatively.
"So, I think this is an extremely significant step, that we have a bill," Tjepkes says. The bill would not impact the current registration rates motorists pay. All current vehicles are grandfathered in, so you wouldn’t pay under the new structure until you buy a new vehicle or used vehicle. Tjepkes hopes the bill can be considered by the bill can be considered by the full committee by the end of the month.