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Governor signs bill to reduce vehicle fees
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TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation Wednesday morning that will save Floridians money on their annual vehicle registration fees.

Senate Bill 156 will save motorists approximately $400,000 million and goes into effect Sept. 1.

Scott also sent a letter to the tax collectors encouraging Floridians who require a registration renewal before Sept. 1 to register for one year. Pinellas County’s Tax Collector Diane Nelson has already removed the two-year renewal option in an attempt to save money for local motorists renewing prior to Sept. 1.

Scott said in a press release, “Last winter, we announced our intent to return $500 million to Floridians by cutting taxes. Today, we are rolling back many of the 2009 tax increases on annual motor vehicle registrations. This will result in an annual savings of $25 per typical motor vehicle and will let families keep nearly $400 million of their hard-earned money in their own pockets - because it’s their money!”

Registration costs will go down by $25.05 for heavy weight vehicles, $21.55 for middleweight vehicles and $18.55 for lightweight vehicles.

Pinellas County Tax Collector Diane Nelson took a proactive stand to help local residents save money. On March 12, Nelson removed the two-year renewal option from motor vehicle renewal notices.

“If this bill passes, I want to give Pinellas County residents the opportunity to take advantage of the savings it will offer,” Nelson said in a press release. “I would be disheartened if someone missed out on the opportunity to save money because they were not informed of the pending legislation and potential savings.”

In 2013, 9 percent of Pinellas County residents took advantage of the biennial registration. A conservative estimate of $12.50 in annual savings per registration shows that Pinellas County residents would save approximately $500,000 by holding off on biennial renewals until the new rates are established, Nelson said.

Residents can still renew their registrations for two years if they prefer. They need to write “two year renewal” on their registration renewal return card and double the amount to be paid. There is no cost advantage with two-year registration renewals, they are offered as a matter of convenience, Nelson said.

For more information, visit www.taxcollect.com.
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