Tax Collectors Fighting Vehicle Tag Privatization

Alex Stefanowitz was on his way into a tax collector’s office instead of eating lunch at noon on Friday.

Alex had just been pulled over for speeding when police noticed his tag had expired at the end of September. "If they gave me a warning or something that would’ve been nice".

On any given day, there are an estimated 300,000 people driving around Florida with an expired tag.

On Tuesday, Governor Rick Scott and the state Cabinet are expected to take the first steps to completely redesign the state's license plates. The redesign would force everyone with an expired tag to get a new one. No one is quibbling about the new design, but Florida’s 67 Tax collectors are concerned about a plan to privatize distribution.

The state’s Highway Safety Director Julie Jones outlined the plan to centralize tag distribution two weeks ago. "Any privatization of this process will not result in an increase charge to the customer or less customer service".

But privatizing would likely raise the cost of a tag by two and a half dollars in at least 16 counties that don't charge an add-on fee for distributions.

Paying more is something Alex doesn’t want to do. "Yeah, my speeding ticket was 288 and then this fee was 80 and the fee for not having it was 123 so that's a 500 dollar day".

Nor do many others.

A spokesperson for the Tax Collectors declined to appear on camera, calling the negotiations fluid.


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