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Car Registration Warning

Starting July 1st, 2011, residents of California received a little tax relief.  The temporary tax that was implemented on April 1, 2009 and was not renewed further by the California legislature.  Around the June 30th deadline to extend the taxes I recall seeing a forlorn Jerry Brown on the news saying how disastrous not extending the tax would be. I say “Hallelujah!”

As you can see, the sales tax rate in Long Beach is already higher than surrounding cities. A full 1% higher than neighboring Los Alamitos.  But, that 1% decrease is a good start.  I always have the option of purchasing goods in Orange County.  *wink-wink*  But how is the state going to recoup that lost revenue. Here’s one way that was shown to me just today. Late fees.  The notice below was inside my father-in-law’s DMV renewal bill that he received today.

So, as of July 1, 2011, as well as paying 1% less sales tax, you also have less time to pay your DMV registration renewal fees.  The state has chopped the advance notice that you have enjoyed on your DMV renewal from 60 days to basically a week.  That’s right!  The bill that I saw is due on July 24th, just one week from when it was received.  What does that mean for y’all?  Well, if you read all you statements and pay them when you receive them, you’re golden.  If, however, you are like me and you’re used to that couple of month buffer between when you receive and when you pay your DMV renewal, you may find yourself with a fine, especially if you don’t read the notices you receive with the bill.

And there it is.  I believe that the state is offsetting the loss in sales tax, at least partially, with the elimination of the 60-day advanced notification.

I’m going to verify this on my vehicle registration when it comes in August.  Also, from what I saw on the FIL’s bill, the 30-day grace period mentioned in the notice doesn’t actually exist.  On the day that the fees are due on his bill, the next date on the bill showed late fees immediately on the day after it is due, not 30 days later.  That may be an oversight on the formatting of the new bill, and maybe in a month that will be fixed.

In the meantime, read all the notices that come with your bills.  You may be saving yourself late fees and other hidden taxes because of it.



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One Comment

  • Wayne Holder |

    There’s no such things as hidden taxes. That would be illegal unless voted in by the people. Hidden fees are fine, of course.