Pay, or walk

February 17, 2013 

It seems like a clever bit of lawmaking, provided of course that the Division of Motor Vehicles of the state Department of Transportation can pull it off.

Starting with DMV bills due in July, people will have to pay their vehicle taxes and their renewal fee at the same time. No tax payment, no license plate or sticker.

That has a way of getting the attention of people. DMV used to employ a connection between inspections and license renewal, and it seemed to work.

Counties believe they’ll realize more in tax collections as a result. For some reason, counties report that 13 percent of vehicle taxes go unpaid each year, and others are late. The News & Observer’s Road Worrier, Bruce Siceloff, wrote that the unpaid taxes about to $80 million in local taxes never collected. Why people seem to be more careful in paying their other property taxes (where 2 percent go unpaid) than their vehicle taxes is anybody’s guess.

But perhaps with DMV involved, the message will stick, so to speak.

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