Is new fee for out-of-state plates enforceable? - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Is new fee for out-of-state plates enforceable?

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
DORCHESTER COUNTY (WIS) -

In Dorchester County, JJ Messervy spends a lot of his time in the car.

“God created Earth in six days. He rested on the seventh. He rested in Dorchester County. This is God’s country,” he said while driving down a county road. “It has its ups and its downs, but there’s always something interesting.”

Messervy, Dorchester County’s auditor, hits the road to find out-of-state plates still used by people who’ve since moved to South Carolina.

“It is the summertime, but there’s a tag from out of state,” he said as he rolled through a newer neighborhood.

He seeks them out because when he gets those out-of-state plates registered in South Carolina, it means drivers are paying their vehicle property taxes, which means more money for Dorchester County and its schools.

“The schools get a great deal of funding from vehicle taxes,” Messervy said.

Soon, South Carolina’s roads will also get funding when drivers register their out-of-state cars in-state. Starting Saturday, the DMV will charge those drivers a new $250 fee.

Messervy worries paying that new fee, on top of paying the existing vehicle property tax, will make some drivers avoid registering altogether.
“The more expensive it is, the fewer people want to play,” he said.

So who will find the people who don’t pay? And who will make them pay?

“My hopes are that there will be a big push for enforcement, but I’m not aware of any of those initiatives,” Messervy answered.

Even though Dorchester County actively hunts for out-of-state plate violators, other counties don’t. On Thursday, WIS found there’s no statewide enforcement program.

Additionally, it seems most Midlands counties don’t patrol for out-of-state plates to the level Dorchester County does. Some rely on neighbors reporting other neighbors. Some don’t patrol for them at all.

Messervy said it probably doesn’t make sense for more rural counties to do it, but he said the state does need to take a closer look at enforcing the new fee.

“It’s going to need to be improved, and that’s especially at the state level,” Messervy said.

What will the impact be? Messervy doesn’t have that answer yet.

“I just think that, in the long run, it will reduce registrations and hurt local governments as well as the state,” he said.

RELATED: Buying a car could soon cost you hundreds more in fees

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Oklahoma restaurant shooting victims recovering

    Oklahoma restaurant shooting victims recovering

    Saturday, May 26 2018 4:03 AM EDT2018-05-26 08:03:40 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 5:29 AM EDT2018-05-27 09:29:05 GMT
    (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...(Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP). Police officers stand at the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. A man armed with a pistol walked into Louie’s On The Lake restaurant at the dinner hour and ...
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed...More >>
    Authorities say a Facebook page in which a man claims his television is possessed by the devil belongs to the man suspected of shooting three people at an Oklahoma City restaurant before being killed by two armed bystanders.More >>
  • The Latest: Rep: "Hero teacher" released from hospital

    The Latest: Rep: "Hero teacher" released from hospital

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:46 AM EDT2018-05-26 14:46:33 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 5:28 AM EDT2018-05-27 09:28:43 GMT
    (Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via AP). Empty school buses leave after a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Ind., on Friday, May 25, 2018. A male student opened fire at the suburban Indianapolis school wounding another stu...(Robert Scheer/The Indianapolis Star via AP). Empty school buses leave after a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Ind., on Friday, May 25, 2018. A male student opened fire at the suburban Indianapolis school wounding another stu...

    The family of a student wounded during a school shooting in Indiana says she is in critical but stable condition.

    More >>

    The family of a student wounded during a school shooting in Indiana says she is in critical but stable condition.

    More >>
  • Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Saturday, May 26 2018 2:14 PM EDT2018-05-26 18:14:01 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 5:28 AM EDT2018-05-27 09:28:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...(AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...

    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public.

    More >>

    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly