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Truckers Face Steep Increases

May 28th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Motor Vehicle fees in Florida are on their way up for everyone who owns a vehicle, but truckers face the steepest increases, as much as 35 percent. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, some of the increases hitting truckers will likely be passed along to consumers.

There are almost 900 thousand commercial trucks registered in Florida. Registration fees for every one of them are going up 35 percent. For the heaviest trucks, thats a three hundred fifty dollars a year. The association representing the truckers says they are being hit harder than anyone else.

When they go to pay these fees in December of this year, it is going to feel like a 35 percent tax increase,” Mary Lou Rajchel with the Florida Trucking Association said.

70 percent of the trucks are run by independent operators who will be unable to pass on the increased costs right away. But Grocery chains, produce dealers, rental trucks and delivery companies are free to build the increases into their costs.

We depend on the trucking industry for from vegetables to furniture, to electronics to road building materials,” Jose Gonzalez of Associated Industries of Florida said. “Everything. So its going to be across the board.

Lawmakers who approved the fees are quick to point out that its been 36 years since they were last raised.

This trucker would only tell us that his name was Ernie, but he says 35 percent is just too much to absorb when he cant pass it on.

Thats my business. Id just go ahead and stop doing it,” Ernie said. “Because were running now, we havent got a rate increase, a freight rate increase, in years.

The association worries the higher fees will cause even more operators to drive into the sunset for the last time.

The fee increases total 35 million dollars. Truck registrations in Florida are already down by about 50 thousand.

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