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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Vehicle registrations not going all that well in Travis County
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano
According to a news release from Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant, the Travis County Tax Office is rejecting “about a third” of vehicle registration renewals these days. The office attributes the (really high!) rate of rejection to people getting their cars inspected at the wrong time. Here’s the problem: “This is the year when vehicle owners are to ‘sync’ the expiration date of their vehicle inspection to their registration sticker. Unfortunately, customers continue to be confused about how that happens. As a result, the tax office is rejecting about a third of the more than 18,000 vehicle registration renewals it receives each month. In 2015, the first year of single sticker, the tax office rejected more than 221,000 vehicle rejection renewals, and it is on pace to do the same this year. Postage alone to return rejected mail-in registrations is costing Travis County taxpayers more than $30,000 annually.” In addition, according to the same release, “More confusion also surrounds the 90-day window in which vehicle owners have to renew. The public
clearly does not understand the 90-day window, which means you can inspect your vehicle up to 90 days before your registration sticker expires but no sooner than that,” Elfant said. Travis County residents either are miscounting the 90 days, or some think they need inspection before the 90 days kicks in. Tax office employees are confronted with customers who have inspected their vehicles too early, some by only one day. “It is really a difficult situation,” Elfant said. “The best thing vehicle owners can do is forget the 90-day window.” The Monitor wishes potential car registers and tax office employees luck.
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