November 23, 2010

Why Old Trucks Are Worth More

Justin Katz

Although typically a fan of liberal policies and government-driven solutions Bob Kerr has decided that he doesn't like the outcome of car taxes on old vehicles:

"It's obvious that small towns need to raise money," [David Shepherd] says.

Still, he finds the tax bill he received in September a mysterious piece of work. It seems to create something out of nothing.

The tax bill on his truck from the Town of Hopkinton is $96. It is not a bill that will mean major cutbacks on Dutch Hill Road. But it is a bill strangely out of sync with previous bills.

Last year, the tax bill on his old truck was zero, nothing, nada.

"Where does that value come from?" he asks.

Ah, there's the question. A truck gets a year older, a little more settled on its front end, and yet its official value goes up.

There are two culprits, here. The first is the cessation of the state's reimbursement of towns for the taxes that they would otherwise charge on the first $6,000 of a vehicle's value. The remedy for that problem, it seems to me, is for the David Shepherds of Rhode Island to involve themselves with local government and rearrange the circumstances that lead the town to require the money. Pushing those tax dollars through the State House only obscures the financial pictures.

The second is the increased value of used cars. Kerr quotes a woman from the Hopkinton tax assessors office opining that "a lot of people aren't buying new cars, so the second-hand ones become more valuable." What this misses is that Kerr-idol President Obama and the Congressional Democrats created a program that gave people incentive to bring in older vehicles and buy newer ones and that required those older vehicles to be destroyed. That reduced the supply of old vehicles (for parts as well as in whole), and increased the value of those that had not been traded in.

Perhaps Bob should send a copy of his column to the White House.

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It's RI's version of "Cash for Clunkers"!

Posted by: fightunionmafia101 at November 23, 2010 2:08 PM

It really gets silly sometimes. Several years ago I bought a '69 Plymouth Road Runner for parts, I paid $600. I bought it for "parts" and regarded the car as hopeless. Still, thinking there is a sucker born every minute, (people will buy complete junk just for the VIN plate, this makes it possible to "clone" a Road Runner by transferring the VIN plate) I decidedd to register it sot that I would have "prior registration".

I decided to start with paying a tax on it. I was informed that the "value" of the car was $24,000 and the tax bill would be more than I paid for the car. I argued the valuation and was told that if I paid the tax and obtained an "appraisal" (I don't think a note from "Joe's Shiney Used Cars" would do) I 'might" obtain a refund. I gave up on the whole idea.

The same situation obtains in Massachusetts, if the sale is private. Their registry will accept the valuation if the bill of sale is from a "dealer".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 24, 2010 1:04 AM

Good thing the communist-hippie lives in MA and doesn't have to pay the expanded car tax or new 1% chafee tax.

Posted by: dave at November 24, 2010 7:44 AM
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