Michigan Collectors in the Crosshairs
HB 5897 is a bill that increases vehicle registration fees for all vehicles, including vehicles with historic and authentic plates.
While it is still uncertain when the Michigan legislature will vote on HB 5897, one thing is clear: If passed, the new law will mean a $30 annual registration fee for hobbyists.
That’s a 1000% fee increase (historic motorists currently pay $30 every 10 years) for a segment of the driving community who account for less than .05% of all vehicles registered in the state.
“It’s unfair and it doesn’t make any sense,” said Carmel Roberts, Director of Government Relations for the Historic Vehicle Association. Roberts believes the bill could be voted on as early as this winter.
According to Roberts, the time between the November election and before the newly elected officials take office on January 1, 2011 is the political witching-hour known as the lame-duck session. During this period, legislation like HB 5897—a bill that would otherwise be politically unpopular—could become fair game as it could be taken up and considered with the other road-funding bills.
“The HVA plans to vigorously challenge the passing of this new law,” said Roberts. “In the coming months, we will be organizing meetings with all interested clubs and club members to discuss the issue, plan and coordinate a strong, effective strategy of opposition.”
In the meantime, Roberts urges HVA members to alert other Michigan collectors to the unfair tax being proposed in Lansing. In addition, those interested in protecting their hobby should reach out to elected officials with the following facts:
1. Historic vehicles represent dynamic and essential touch points of Michigan’s history and heritage and trying to squeeze every last dime out of our history and heritage is shameful and wrong.
2. Historic vehicles account for less than .05% of all vehicles registered in Michigan. Excluding them from this bill does not meaningfully impact the goal of the bill.
3. Historic vehicle use is highly restricted under current Michigan law, a fact reflected in the current registration charge. HB 5897 is an unfair, disproportionate penalty tax on historic vehicles.
4. Raising the fees from $30 every 10 years to $30 annually amounts to a 1000% tax increase on historic vehicle owners.
For more information on how you can get involved, visit www.historicvehicle.org