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No Tax Break For Hundreds of Thousands of Florida Drivers

Next week, Governor Rick Scott will sign into law a rollback of auto tag fees that will save typical Florida drivers $25 a year.

However, many of those drivers won't be saving any money anytime soon.

Hundreds of thousands of Florida drivers won't get the break on tag fees this year because they already renewed their tags for two years. The lower fees will take effect Sept. 1.

While many tax collectors are warning drivers throughout Florida not to renew for two years because they will lose many, their advice comes too late. An estimated 756,000 drivers have purchased two-year registrations since July 1.

House Speaker Will Weatherford said the legislature should find a way to fix the problem, and allows people to recoup money if they paid for two years. but he is not sure how.

Miami-Dade tax collector Fernando Casamayor said, "We will be advising our customers that they would actually save money renewing for one year."

By law, a tag expires at midnight on a motorist's birthday, but that state highway safety agency said a minimum $5 late penalty for a late renewal can't be imposed until 10 days after the expiration date.

Also motorists who attempt to save $25 are risking a much steeper fine if they are caught driving with an expired tag.

Scott has until Wednesday to sign the tag fee reduction and will hold a bill signing ceremony in Tallahassee.

If you have renewed your tag for two years, and are unable to benefit from the auto tag fee reduction, please contact our law firm at 305-371-3666.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Thousands will get shafted despite lower fees," March 29, 2014.

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