Some motor vehicle-related fees are set to increase by more than triple their current rates next month as motorists and car buyers help field the cost of a years-long backlog of deteriorating roads and bridges.
The fee increases effective April 1 will fund last year's state transportation package, the legislation expected to drive numerous road improvement projects in York County over the next several years.
Gov. Tom Corbett last November signed the $2.4 billion transportation bill into law, under which fee increases are a means of paying for projects — including a $200 million widening of Interstate 83 and other improvements in York.
While few might argue the necessity for improvements, the increases are bitter pills to car dealers and others who routinely pay the fees in the course of business.
The cost of titles will more than double, the $27.50 increase bringing the current cost of $22.50 to $50 for both initial and duplicate certificates of title.
Reaction: Metin Karadag, owner of Westgate Auto Sales in York City, said he pays the fee about 50 times per year after he buys cars at auction. He needs the titles before he can get vehicles inspected and ready for selling to customers, he said.
"I don't think it's fair," he said. "I can see $10-$15, but more than 100 percent (increase)? We're already struggling to survive."
He said he'll have to pass the fee increase along to customers because he can't field all of the extra cost.
"It's pretty hard, especially for small dealers," he said.
Other fees: The title fees are one of several set to increase April 1:
•Department of Transportation Identification Cards will more than double, from $13.50 to $27.50.
•Duplicate Driver Licenses and IDs will increase from $13.50 to $27.50.
•Vanity plates, which are personalized for the driver, will increase from $56 to $76.
•Title Security Interest fee, charged for recording a security interest or lien on a title, will increase from $5 to $23.
•The Driver Information and Vehicle Information fees, charged for a personal driving record or record on a particular vehicle, now $5 each, will be increase to $8 each.
•Certified Records Fee, which is charged for certifying records and used primarily for court cases, will increase from $10 to $30.
•Manufacture/ Dealer Notifications, the fee charged for a dealer's acquisition of a vehicle from another manufacturer or dealer for resale, will jump up from $3 to $5.
Another round: The majority of the fees have not been increased since 1997, said Erin Waters-Trasatt, Deputy Press Secretary at PennDOT.
Another round of increases will take effect July 1, but spokesman Craig Yetter said PennDOT is still preparing a list of those modifications.
A change in the state's gasoline taxes, approved under the transportation bill, is also expected to cause the price per gallon to increase by an estimated 25 cents over several years.
The bill passed with the support of all Senators in York's delegation and all but two representatives: Reps. Mike Regan, R- Carroll Township and Keith Gillespie, R-Hellam Township.
— Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.