This is one way to get the money we need.

Once again legislators are punishing the poor and thrifty by suggesting we raise registration fees JUST on the people who can afford it the least; people who drive older cars.

People who own older cars could end up paying more to license them if a group of state lawmakers has its way.

A bill that will be introduced in the next legislative session would require owners of older cars to pay the same fees applied to newer cars. Currently, the owners of any noncommercial vehicle more than five years old pay 70 percent of the original licensing fee.

Depending on a car’s weight, it would cost owners $9 to $19.50 a year in additional licensing fees.

Representative Shantel ‘Al Bundy’ Krebs is leading the fight. Yeah, because shoe sales(wo)men have the best ideas.

Licensing fees for trucks and cars are based on their weight. The heavier the vehicle, the more it costs to license, because heavier vehicles exact a greater toll of wear and tear on highways and roads.

Eliminating the discounts for older vehicles would generate an extra $12 million a year that counties could use to build and maintain roads, said Rep. Shantel Krebs, R-Sioux Falls. Krebs is one of the lawmakers supporting the measure.

Eliminating the discount for older cars makes sense, Krebs said.

Maybe in your bad math, help the priviledged more, mentality.

First off the fee is unfair as it currently stands. If you own a vehicle that is 2,000 pounds and 4 years old your fee is $30 but if you own a vehicle that is 10,000 pounds your fee is $65. Shouldn’t it be $150 if we are truly taxing by weight?

BUT LET’s TRAVEL TO COMMON SENSE LAND FOR JUST A MOMENT(I know this will be hard for my Big Government Republican readers, but please bare with me.)

I think the best solution is to hope for Federal dollars from Obama’s stimulus package. The second solution would be making cuts, cuts, cuts to Rounds Kingdom in Pierre.

But if we still need the money I suggest we fix the weight-to-fee issue as it currently stands. Tax accordingly to the weight (which we are not currently doing).

Charge a retail luxury tax on on personal vehicles over $60,000. If you can afford the vehicle you can afford the tax, and more then likely finance the taxes due in your payments.

If all else fails, we can have a rate increase, but it should be across the board keeping the discounts in place. People who drive older vehicles probably drive less. If they can’t afford a new vehicle, they probably have trouble putting gas in the vehicle they currently have.

Taxing the poor more is a stupid idea, in these economic times, but if we must truly raise fees, make it fair. Once again it proves our legislators are short on progressive ideas. Whadda yah expect?Thirty years of secretive, regressive Republican rule will do that to a state.