Arizona Governor Warns Lawmakers Not To Touch Vehicle Fee Hike

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 3:33pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 6:06pm

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has warned state lawmakers that repealing or reducing the $32 vehicle registration fee for the Department of Public Safety could undermine the current budget.

On Tuesday, he told lawmakers that collecting the expected $185 million not only allows the budget to cover Highway Patrol operations, but also creates a 10 percent buffer that the state can rely on for revenue.

But, when the originally approved $18 fee nearly doubled, lawmakers like Republican Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita began crafting legislation to either eliminate or reduce the fee.

"I have support for the bill,” she told Capital Media Services about her proposal to void the fee even as the first notices are mailed out informing auto owners of the fee hike.

That fact does not faze her, “I will do my job as a legislator by introducing a bill that I think the voters in Arizona support. And I think I've got support from members."

Ugenti-Rita conceded that Ducey could veto any bill interfering with his budget.

If that happens, lawmakers could override his veto with a two-thirds vote in both houses, but that hasn’t happened in more than 35 years.