State, SF may double up on car fees 

Drivers could be scavenging their change compartments for an extra $28 if two separate measures pass in November.

A statewide measure, which would increase vehicle registration fees by $18 a year to help keep state parks open, qualified for the November ballot last week.

A second measure will be considered Tuesday by a committee of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. It would charge motorists an additional $10 to register their vehicles, which could muster about $5 million for San Francisco roads and transit projects.

If it gets the thumbs up on Tuesday, the local measure will go to the agency’s full board later this month for final endorsement, said agency Executive Director Jose Luis Moscovich. It would then begin the process of qualifying for the local ballot.

San Mateo County voters will also likely see a local fee on the ballot, after the county’s congestion management agency, the City/County Association of Governments, voted Thursday to move forward with a measure.

The board was encouraged after a survey of 1,000 San Mateo County voters found that 64 percent said they’d vote yes on a measure raising the vehicle registration fee by $10, while just 32 percent said they’d vote no.

Moscovich said a similar survey done in San Francisco a few months ago found similar results, with about 65 percent of those polled indicating they’d vote yes for it.

The counties have the option of putting a $10 fee increase on the ballot thanks to Senate Bill 83, which was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in October.

The plan being considered Tuesday by San Francisco agency’s Plans and Programs committee would divide the proceeds of the measure, if passed, between improving roads, pedestrian safety and transit reliability, Moscovich said.

Those are some of the items voters polled said they’d like to see the money spent on.

Sitting in a blue plastic chair at the DMV in Redwood City last week, trying to contain his active young son who was eager to be done with the errand, Jesus Mendoza at first just raised his eyebrows when asked if he’d be willing to pay $10 more to register his vehicle.

But after asking what it would go to he shrugged.

“The streets do need to be fixed,” he said. “I don’t see a reason not to do it, if it’s eventually going to be for our benefit.”

Vehicle license fee

- Established by the Legislature in 1935
- Formula based value of vehicle when acquired
- Fee decreases with each renewal for the first 11 years
- Almost all VLF revenue goes to cities and counties

Source: DMV

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