If you buy a new pickup next year, be prepared to pay a much higher fee for your plates. The Iowa House today joined the Senate in approving legislation that would get rid of the standard $65 license fee for trucks purchased after January 1st, 2009.
Pickups that aren’t used for business will instead be charged a higher license fee based on their weight and value — the same method used for other vehicles of similar size, like S-U-Vs. Representative Jeri Huser, a Democrat from Altoona, says it’s part of the effort to find new money for the state’s road fund.
"It is one that is necessary. It is one that is created because of the road conditions we have in this state and our inability to continue to fund maintenance, repair and make sure that the citizens that use our roads are safe in utilizing them," she says.
The license fees for cars won’t decrease as much over the years you own the vehicle and the license fees for most trailers and motorcycles will increase, too. For example, the plates on a motorcycle today cost a dollar annually and will go up to two dollars a year.
Representative Huser says lawmakers aren’t doing this in haste. "I am proud of the fact that this state began looking at this issue before there (was a bridge collapse) in Minnesota," Huser says. "We have been pursing this for over five years."
Representative David Tjepkes, a Republican from Gowrie, was among those working with Huser to find more money for the state’s road construction and maintenance budget. "You might say we hit a few potholes as we went along, but somehow we were able to move along," Tjepkes says.
Governor Culver plans to sign the bill into law. In a prepared statement, Culver said public safety will be improved because it will allow the state to make "critical investments in our infrastructure, especially our bridges and roads."