Motor vehicle title and registration fees will go down in September under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott.
The Governor and other top state Republicans used the opportunity to take a swipe at Scott’s likely Democratic gubernatorial rival—former Governor Charlie Crist. Crist, now a Democrat, signed off on vehicle registration fee increases in 2009 during the midst of the Great Recession. But it was the Republican-led Florida Legislature that approved those increases. Current Senate President Don Gaetz and New Lieutenant Governor Carlos-Lopez Cantera were among the legislators who helped find support for those increases. Tuesday, both of men put to the blame on Crist.
“We were given a stark choice between closing hospitals, and closing schools and placing vulnerable Floridians in even more jeopardy," Gaetz told reporters after Scott signed the bill. "This governor gave us a different choice. He said, 'if you build the private sector economy, if you’ll give people an opportunity have jobs and build their businesses, then the level of the lake will rise, the boats will float, and we’ll be able to cut taxes, not raise taxes'.”
In a statement, Crist notes Scott has had more than three years to reduce the fees and that they were never meant to be permanent. Under the newly-signed legislation, most vehicle owners will see a savings of about $25 a year, about half of what they are now.