ST. LOUIS — During summer travel in Missouri, playing the license plate game is always a favorite past time for many families. But counting the number of Missouri temporary tags, well that’s thousands across the state.
“Temp tags and expired temp tags in Missouri if you drive the roads — I see them everywhere,” said Doug Smith, head of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association. “It’s not just a St. Louis problem. It’s the entire state.”
Currently, if you purchase a vehicle from a car dealer in Missouri, you get temporary paper tags and have 30 days to pay the sales tax at a DMV office.
For instance, a car that costs $10,000 in the city would be $1,000 in sales tax, which can be a lot for many.
But now, Gov. Mike Parson has signed into law a plan to update the state’s vehicle sales tax process.
It means when you purchase a new car, instead of just letting you drive it home and assuming you’ll go to the DMV to pay taxes later, Missouri will now ask you to pay your taxes at the point of sale. Many other states, like Illinois, already combine the two payments, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Smith said it will make things easier on Missourians who might not have another $1,000 or more to pay later at the DMV.
“If you’re financing your vehicle for 48, 60 or 72 months, you’re talking just a few dollars per month that would be included in that retail installment contract,” Smith said.
“It’s really a way to make it easier to solve a lot of problems with the revenue collection and also make it easier on the taxpayer. Keep the taxpayer from not breaking the law by titling their vehicle.”
Smith welcomes the new law that begins Aug. 28. The plan will allow the Missouri Department of Revenue to get upgrades to their old computer system, and customers will also be able to pay the sales tax at the dealership, cutting out an extra step.
“By doing it at the point of sale with these, it upgrades those systems (and) can talk to the highway patrol,” Smith said. “Those systems can talk to motor vehicle registration, and you have a seamless way to communicate all that information.”
Smith estimates the state will generate $26-40 million that will fund improvements to roads, bridges and safety.
Those temp tags you see everywhere won’t go away overnight. Expect that to be a slow process over the next four years.
The King County Board of Health is reviewing the law after concerns it is unfairly enforced and targets people of color.
SEATTLE — The King County Board of Health is looking into whether it should repeal the county’s bicycle helmet law, after concerns it is unfairly enforced and targets people of color.
Central Seattle Greenways, a group advocating for safer streets, started researching the law last year in the wake of nationwide protests over racial inequality.
“We found that Black cyclists have been cited disproportionately for not wearing a helmet at four times the rate of white cyclists, so a really stark disparity,” said Ethan Campbell, who leads the helmet law working group.
Latino and Indigenous cyclists were also cited at higher rates, and Crosscut reported that nearly half of all recent citations went to homeless people.
It is against that backdrop that the King County Board of Health is now reviewing the law.
“If this helmet law is having the unintended effect of actually harming public health through criminalization, that’s something we should take a look at and take very seriously,” Councilmember Girmay Zahilay said during a hearing Thursday.
To be clear, no one involved in the county discussion is saying helmets are bad.
“We strongly support helmet use,” said Campbell, noting the primary concern is enforcement. “We know that helmets reduce your likelihood of being injured in a crash pretty substantially.”
During Thursday’s hearing, council members sounded serious about taking action.
“This one seems to be so egregiously disproportionately applied, I think it does demand our attention,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, chair of the health board.
A helmet law violation in King County adds up to $104 in fines and court fees, Campbell said.
Tacoma repealed its bike helmet law last year after similar concerns about unfair enforcement.
In place of a helmet law, bike advocates are pushing for increased education, free helmets, and safer streets.
If your car has been repossessed and you live in California, here’s what you need to know.
Most people think that if they don’t pay the car loan, the lender will come to repossess the vehicle. Once that’s done, they figure it’s all over.
That’s exactly what my client thought when the tow truck was hauling away his Ford Explorer. Fast forward a few months and he knows better.
Now, so can you.
When A Vehicle Can Be Repossessed
In the beginning, there’s a car loan. You miss a payment and figure that a delay of a few days won’t make a difference. With so many cars in California, it’s not uncommon to be late by at least a few days.
What you don’t know is that under California law, the lender can repossess your vehicle without any prior notice to you so long as you’re as little as one day late on payment.
In fact, the lender can repossess a car in California whenever there’s a default in the terms of the contract. That includes not only missing a payment but also an insurance lapse.
It’s a good idea to read the contract carefully so you can find the landmines.
Who Can Repossess A Vehicle
Under California law, the car finance company as well as a registered repossession agency can repossess your automobile.
In order to have authority to repossess the vehicle, the company must be licensed or registered with the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. You should always ask to see the license before surrendering your car to a repo agent, and verify that license with the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
Place And Time Of Repossession (And The Shakedown)
A repossession agent in California can’t come into a private building such as a garage, nor can they enter a secured or locked area such as a gated driveway, without the permission of the owner of the premises.
Your car can, however, be repossessed from unsecured driveways, streets, parking lots, and other publicly accessible areas in California at any time of day or night.
You don’t need to be present when the vehicle is taken, so if you park on the street and go to sleep there’s a chance the car may be gone when you wake up.
If you happen to be present when the car’s being taken, you may be able to save the car by paying the balance due rather than losing your wheels. If that happens then you have the right to receive an itemized receipt, and the repossession agent is required to forward your payment to the car lenders.
Timeline After Repossession
Once the car is repossessed, the clock starts ticking.
California law gives the repossession agency 48 hours to give you a Notice of Seizure that provides you with the name and contact information of both the legal owner and the repossession agency.
You must also be given an Inventory of Personal Effects that