Progressive Auto Registration

I got my auto registration for my car, Nader, and was in for a shock: It’s $325! Now, that won’t impress you Californians out there, but considering we just recently paid less than a third of that on my wife’s car, Ninjette, it was an unpleasant surprise. It was hefty last time for Nader, but I figured that was due to the fact it was a new car registration. It turns out that the state is engaging in affluence-discrimination. A form of progressive taxation under the idea that if you can afford a newish car (less than five years old) you must be fishin’ loaded. My inner conservative is outraged as this is yet another way our increased income is being chipped away at. My inner liberal points out that my paying $225 to the state ($100 is local) allows someone barely getting by on a clunker* to pay $30 (and less on the county, though I can’t find the exact number). Intellectually, the liberal wins. The conservative hasn’t calmed down yet.

Anyway, I hadn’t heard of this before. I thought three-digit registration was something that only blue coastal states did.

* – Ironically, this puts us in both categories, since my car is relatively new and my wife’s is almost old enough to get its own drivers license.

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4 thoughts on “Progressive Auto Registration

  1. When California’s registration spiked a few years ago, I thought I’d be smart and pick that time to buy a new used car under the old cheaper rate. Then cash for clunkers came out and spoiled my idea.

    Be thankful you don’t live under California emission standards. I just paid 2 grand for a new catalytic converter. Useless for driving, but necessary for registration. and my car has 2 of them. I wake up in sweats about the other one giving out.


    • This may be way off-base (I try to be suspicious when my biases are being confirmed – the emission standards in Cali may be in response to something federal), but it seems noteworthy to me that “Arapaho” penalizes those who drive nice cars (with presumably well-to-do owners) while California is incidentally going after older cars (with presumably harder-up drivers).

      Something like that would be really hard on the folks out here. Very, very few people drive new cars. Since so many drive trucks, and trucks are expensive, and people around here aren’t wealthy, they have to hold on to them for a really long time. And buy very used.

      Despite the fact that I am a hoity-toity new car owner (which makes me a bit self-conscious), it’s one of the things we like about this place. Lots of interest in my ’97 when I sold it. Such a car would have gone to the junkheap back home.


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