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California: an expensive place to visit

Los Angeles, CALIF. -- California truckers and those running into the state can expect the taxman to reach even dee...


Los Angeles, CALIF. — California truckers and those running into the state can expect the taxman to reach even deeper into their pockets.

Higher IRP fees are on the way, and they could increase every year from now on, due to new legislation recently approved.

The General Assembly recently passed the Senate version of a bill that would increase weight-based IRP fees in the state starting in 2004. The new law, which started as Senate Bill 1055, will increase the fees 21 percent in the first year.

But the state government is not ready to stop there. If the law doesn’t create the kind of revenue windfall expected, then the fees could go up within a year to 34 percent higher than their current level in 2005. And the law contains a clause that would increase the fee along with California’s rate of inflation.

For standard 18-wheelers, the fee would increase initially under the bill to $2,064. And that could be raised to $2,271 the next year.

The new law states that afterward, "The department [of Motor Vehicles] would be required to adjust the fees by increasing each fee in an amount equal to the increase in the California Consumer Price Index for the current year, as calculated by the Department of Finance."

The higher fees would be triggered if the state receives less than $789 million.


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