New Mexico bill would raise truck fee by 230 percent

February 21, 2019

Keith Goble

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One bill moving through the New Mexico House would increase vehicle fees by an average of 162 percent. Owners of large trucks, however, would pay about 230 percent more.

The House Transportation and Public Works Committee voted 5-3 to advance a bill to collect an additional surcharge on the current registration fees for motorists and truck drivers.

New Mexico collects a registration fee of $21 to $56 for passenger vehicles. The amount is based on weight and age of the vehicle. Trucks weighing in excess of 48,000 pounds pay a $172 fee regardless of vehicle age.

Sponsored by Rep. Jim Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, HB321 would raise passenger vehicle fees by $15 to $57. Revised fee amounts would range from $36 to $113.

Meanwhile, the fee for large trucks would increase by $400 to total $572.

An estimated $131.6 million in annual revenue would be used for road and transit work.

Passenger vehicles would account for $55 million, or 41 percent, of the annual revenue. Collections from interstate commercial vehicles would account for $14 million, or 10 percent. Light trucks and noncommercial trucks would raise $62 million, or 47 percent.

The state road fund would receive 90 percent of the estimated $131.6 million in new revenue. The state’s transit fund would get the other 10 percent.

The state’s Legislative Finance Committee reports that commercial vehicles are subject to other taxes, including a special fuel excise tax, unified carrier registration fees, weight distance tax, trip tax, and oversize/overweight fees. In fact, for each of the past four years commercial vehicles have accounted for more than half of New Mexico’s road fund revenue.

HB321 awaits further consideration in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.