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Drivers Split On Increased Fees To Fix Roads

March 1, 2011, 4:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Drivers Split On Increased Fees To Fix Roads
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Rough, bumpy and hard on cars; those are three ways South Dakota drivers describe our roads. Lawmakers are working to change that, but not everyone is along for that ride.

The South Dakota House and Senate have approved House Bill 1192 to raise how much you pay to register your vehicle. Over the next two years, the state fee for smaller cars would increase from $42 to $60.
Mid-size vehicles would increase from $55 to $90. And larger trucks and SUVs would increase from $65 to $120.

Supporters say the extra money would help the state repair roads.

Harsh weather and daily wear and tear take a toll on roads across South Dakota.

"This is a bad season for that, obviously potholes everywhere," Sioux Falls driver Darlene Fick said.

Lawmakers in Pierre have approved a plan to generate an additional $31 million a year for road work. According to the bill, the fees you pay at your local treasurer’s office would first increase this summer, then again in 2013.

"It's probably time to do it. The states around us, that border on us all have significantly higher rates and fees," Fick said. 

Fick says she'd appreciate a smoother drive. But not everyone in line to register their vehicles agrees. Some say the price is already steep enough.

"You have enough money to make the roads proper if you'd focus more on repairing the roads that we have," Sioux Falls driver Courtney Donnan said.

Increases would apply to everything from trailers to motorcycles and motorhomes. The vast majority of lawmakers support the bill, meaning it's likely on the road to becoming law.

"It's just a necessary evil," Fick said.

Governor Dennis Daugaard has told lawmakers he'll likely veto the bill. However, it passed the House (Yeas 53, Nays 13) and Senate (Yeas 31, Nays 3) with more than the two-thirds support needed to override that potential veto.

Compact cars 3,000 - 4,500 pounds
Midsize cars, sedans 4,500 - 5,500 pounds
Light trucks, minivans, SUVs 5,000 - 7,000 pounds
Heavy trucks, SUVs 7,000-12,000 pounds

WEIGHT (IN POUNDS) CURRENT NEW 2011 NEW 2013 TOTAL INCREASE
2,000 or less $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $0.00
2,001 - 4,000 $42.00 $51.00 $60.00 $18.00
4,001 - 6,000 $55.00 $72.50 $90.00 $35.00
More than 6,000 $65.00 $92.50 $120.00 $55.00

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