Why Old Trucks Are Worth More
Although typically a fan of liberal policies and government-driven solutions Bob Kerr has decided that he doesn’t like the outcome of car taxes on old vehicles:
“It’s obvious that small towns need to raise money,” [David Shepherd] says.
Still, he finds the tax bill he received in September a mysterious piece of work. It seems to create something out of nothing.
The tax bill on his truck from the Town of Hopkinton is $96. It is not a bill that will mean major cutbacks on Dutch Hill Road. But it is a bill strangely out of sync with previous bills.
Last year, the tax bill on his old truck was zero, nothing, nada.
“Where does that value come from?” he asks.
Ah, there’s the question. A truck gets a year older, a little more settled on its front end, and yet its official value goes up.
There are two culprits, here. The first is the cessation of the state’s reimbursement of towns for the taxes that they would otherwise charge on the first $6,000 of a vehicle’s value. The remedy for that problem, it seems to me, is for the David Shepherds of Rhode Island to involve themselves with local government and rearrange the circumstances that lead the town to require the money. Pushing those tax dollars through the State House only obscures the financial pictures.
The second is the increased value of used cars. Kerr quotes a woman from the Hopkinton tax assessors office opining that “a lot of people aren’t buying new cars, so the second-hand ones become more valuable.” What this misses is that Kerr-idol President Obama and the Congressional Democrats created a program that gave people incentive to bring in older vehicles and buy newer ones and that required those older vehicles to be destroyed. That reduced the supply of old vehicles (for parts as well as in whole), and increased the value of those that had not been traded in.
Perhaps Bob should send a copy of his column to the White House.