May 26, 2017
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It’s Bill Season At General Assembly

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HARTFORD – It’s that time of year at the State Capitol. Legislators are introducing bills, most of which won’t go anywhere except the dust bin. Others will get picked apart, rewritten, supplemented or watered down. A few will get passed into law by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. Among some of the more interesting ones so far:

Proposed Bill No. 5043 – Rep. John Piscopo (R-76th District) wants to make the sales tax payable on private vehicle transactions based on the purchase price.

Piscopo’s bill would amend statutes “to provide that when one private individual enters into an agreement with another to purchase a private passenger motor vehicle and the agreed-upon purchase price is documented and notarized, such purchase price shall be the basis for calculating the sales tax payable on such motor vehicle.”

The purpose of the bill: “To provide that the documented, notarized purchase price of a private passenger motor vehicle sold by one private individual to another shall be the basis for calculating the sales tax payable on such motor vehicle.”

Currently, NADA book value is used to calculate sales tax, according to DMV spokesman Ernie Bertothy. There is an appeals process should an owner disagree.

So what’s to prevent those involved in a transaction from fudging the number; making it lower to save money? Know anyone who has put a different number on the bill of sale than what was actually paid? And what would the penalty be for misrepresentation? Just asking.

This bill has been referred to the committee on finance, revenue and bonding.

Proposed Bill No. 5135 – Rep. Kurt Vail (R-52nd District) wants to make it okay to show an insurance ID card electronically during a traffic stop and while registering a vehicle at the D.M.V.

Vail’s bill would amend statutes “to permit motorists who receive their automobile insurance identification cards electronically from their insurers to provide such cards electronically for motor vehicle traffic stops and registration of their motor vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles.”

This bill is just common sense. The DMV is ahead of the curve on this. Bertothy says that when a person shows an electronic insurance ID when getting their paperwork checked and a number assigned for service, they are asked to email the card to the DMV. When their number is called, the clerk can then print it out and attach it to the paperwork. And state troopers, if only to be reasonable and courteous, often accept electronic IDs already.

The bill has been referred to the joint committee on insurance and real estate.

Proposed Bill 5324 – Rep. Whit Betts (R-78th District) wants to increase penalties for texting or using a hand-held mobile phone while driving. No amount is specified. The bill has been referred to the joint committee on transportation.

Proposed Bill No. 5457 – Rep. Edwin Vargas (D – 6th District) would amend statutes “to require the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to issue a temporary registration to the owner of a motor vehicle that needs a safety inspection or emissions inspection for at least twenty-one days, instead of a period of time to be determined by the commissioner.”

The bill has been referred to the joint committee on transportation.

Proposed Bill No. 5519 – Rep. William Duff (R-2nd District) wants to eliminate property taxes on motor vehicles.

The bill has been referred to the joint committee on finance, revenue and bonding.