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February 23, 2011 08:52 PM UTC

We're Repealing FASTER! (Not Really)

  • 4 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Ever since the original news last December that new GOP House Speaker Frank McNulty would not prioritize repeal of the 2009 FASTER motor vehicle fee increases for road and bridge repair, after repeal of FASTER emerged as a central campaign theme for a number of his candidates (and himself), we’ve been watching the reaction from his fellow Republicans.

And it hasn’t been very good for McNulty.

In January, as we and former state senate president John Andrews reported, a group of conservative legislators met with the Colorado Tea Party Alliance in Arvada. Sometime between this meeting and the last couple of weeks, the Tea Party Alliance swung into action with an online petition calling out McNulty by name as a “tax and spend stooge,” and demanding that every part of the “car tax” be repealed.

Well, yesterday, repeal of a component of FASTER, namely the $25 per month late fee, passed its initial vote by the full House. McNulty voted yes, as did other Republicans who had previously backed away from repeal like Rep. Glenn Vaad. This isn’t what you’d call the “heart” of FASTER, the higher registration fees which account for the majority of the revenue stream. But the late fees are the most politically playable, at least in the minds of Republican opponents.

We, like most observers, expect that this bill will die in the Democratic-controlled Senate, as $25 million for transportation is still something the state needs. We’ve never really been persuaded by this argument that people who are late paying their bills should just be coddled or whatever–how conservative is that? Can we try that with our credit cards, too?

But we’ll be watching to see if this vote, though only pertaining to a small portion of the total revenue raised by the “car tax,” gets McNulty off the hook with the Tea Party Alliance–if anything, it’s a test of how smart, or otherwise, they really are.

Comments

4 thoughts on “We’re Repealing FASTER! (Not Really)

  1. What this does is it gives the Republicans another opportunity to say, “We passed tax and spending cuts, but the Democrats are just too committed to big government and blocked our efforts”

    The same goes for trying to reinstate the tax exemptions that were repealed last year. By trying to decrease revenue they can say they were trying to reduce spending since the budget must be balanced.

    I fully expect them to have some large total of cuts that the evil Democrats blocked that they’ll campaign on next year.

    Sadly, I think their message will be effective  

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