RFTA finally gets to collect vehicle registration fee | AspenTimes.com

RFTA finally gets to collect vehicle registration fee

Most car owners in the Roaring Fork Valley will pay a higher registration fee starting this fall to help fund mass transit.

A $10 vehicle registration fee to raise funds for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will likely go into effect Nov. 1. The fee will apply to all vehicle registrations in Pitkin County, those in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County and those in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

The fee is expected to raise between $300,000 and $350,000 annually, according to RFTA Executive Director Dan Blankenship. The funds must be used on highway-related expenditures, such as constructing and maintaining park-and-rides, he said.

The increased fee was approved by the RFTA board of directors last winter, but it couldn’t be implemented because of the demands it placed on the Colorado Department of Revenue. That department provides the software used by the clerks offices of each county to register vehicles. Department officials claimed they didn’t have the budget or staff to immediately reprogram that software to allow for the $10 fee in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Blankenship said the state agency is performing that work now and will be reimbursed by RFTA. He said it will cost an estimated $25,000 to $50,000 to compensate the Department of Revenue for the work.

Once the program is in place, RFTA will pay the counties 3 percent of the funds they collect for the fee for going to the trouble of collecting, Blankenship said.

The funds that will be collected in November and December will likely just be enough to pay the revenue department. RFTA could start reaping the rewards of the program in January.

Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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