Letter: Rep. Bembry against raising fees on drivers

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By The Staff

The Florida Legislature passed a transportation bill, CS/HB 5011, during the 2009 Legislative Session creating an $800 million fee/tax increase for the people of Florida.

Beginning September 1, certain fees for driver license and motor vehicle services will significantly increase as a result of the Florida Legislature’s efforts to balance the state budget because of declining tax receipts due to the slowed economy.

We will soon begin receiving notification of the new fees from our local tax collectors and other agencies.  This situation makes the job of our local tax collectors very difficult in that they feel your financial burden as much as I do.  It will not surprise me if you and others in Florida House District 10 find these fee increases to be ridiculously high and an inappropriate burden during these tough economic times.

I want you to know that I understand the financial struggles that many of you are facing as you maintain your homes, farms and small businesses during the current recession.  I am deeply concerned that fee increases will have a very negative effect on our efforts to financially recover and grow our economy.

Motor vehicle fee increases will impact our rural families, small businesses and the agricultural industry.  For these and other reasons, I voted against these fee hikes and repeatedly argued against them during committee and House floor debate throughout the 2009 Legislative Session.

I join your local tax collectors in concern for the situation we find ourselves in, and I encourage you to contact them to take full advantage of the current lower fees.

I will continue to work in Tallahassee to remove waste and inefficiencies from the budget.  I will support prioritized spending and adequate funding for the basic needs and services of the citizens of our state.  But I strongly believe we can achieve the high quality of life that every Floridian rightly expects without such sudden and dramatic fee increases.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our legislative offices in Madison, Chiefland or Tallahassee if you have any questions or concerns.