Car Registration Losses Cost State Millions
State tax officials told a joint legislative committee that at least $22 million is lost annually because car owners avoid paying their yearly registration fees or improperly register their vehicles in other states with less expensive registration fees.
The committee, led by Sen. Lewis Long, D-Glenpool, and Rep. Shelby Satterfield, D-Tulsa, is examining ways to better enforce the motor vehicle registration requirements.
Oklahomans pay one of the highest motor vehicle registration fees in the nation. The average fee is $100 for a car, but the fee for new automobiles can be much more. Up to 7,000 cars in Oklahoma are registered in Oregon, which has a much cheaper registration fee, lawmakers were told Wednesday. Merl Hackbart, a University of Kentucky professor who conducts research for the Council of State Governments, said an average of 4 percent to 7 percent of all vehicle owners in the United States avoid paying registration fees by failing to renew registration, stealing or counterfeiting proof of registration. He said a council study estimated that all of the states lose between $421 million and $753 million in tax revenues due to registration avoidance. In Oklahoma, where there are 2. …