Your car weighs 6,000 pounds?
By Elsa Maxey
If you haven’t already noticed, there are new fees for vehicle registrations in Fort Bend County effective Sept. 1. The Office of Patsy Schultz, Fort Bend County’s Tax Assessor-Collector, reports that the new fees are already being applied to August renewals, which have Sept. 1 as the effective registration date. The change was not the county’s doing, but the state legislature’s two years ago, when it passed a law to simplify the vehicle registration fee structure throughout the state. In the end, it looks like some fees are up and some are down.
Accounts indicate that the change was meant to be revenue-neutral and it took until now to develop and implement the new structure. So, be advised, there are now only seven weight groups for vehicles, instead of the previous1,600, reports the local tax assessor collector. It’s no wonder the bill was called “The Fee Simplification Bill.”
Car and truck owners with vehicles weighing 6,000 pounds or less will pay a base vehicle registration fee of $50.75. This is a slight reduction of about $8 from the previous registration fee for new vehicle owners. But there’s a small increase of about $10 for those registering older vehicles. Those with heavy vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds will pay in pound increments which have been reduced from the 1,600 categories to the seven.
Fees are also changed for trailer owners. The 75 different trailer categories, which include travel trailers, are reduced to just one annual fee for those up to 6,000 pounds. The fee used to be based on gross weight of the trailer and now it’s a standard $45.
Texas’ registration fees continue to be among the lowest when compared to the country’s 12 largest states, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Know where the money from the vehicle registrations goes? It accounts for more than $1 billion each year allocated to the state highway fund to build and maintain its roads and bridges.
The new fee simplification structure represents the first change in Texas’ base vehicle registration fee since 1985. Need to replace one or two license plates? That will be six dollars.
For more information, check with Patsy Schultz, the Fort Bend County Tax Assessor-Collector.