TRENTON –Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, D-Mercer, made the following statement today after the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing on the proposed FY09 budget for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, NJ Transit and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC):
“The MVC is often referred to as the cash cow of Trenton as the fees it collects far outpace the cost of running the Commission. I was disappointed to hear that the Commission has recently begun to assess residents a $2 “convenience charge” to renew vehicle registrations on-line rather than going to a MVC office to renew.
“It seems to me that it would be more prudent to work harder in pursuing the $1.2 billion in outstanding surcharges owed to the MVC rather than charging more to those people who are following the rules by keeping their vehicle registrations up-to-date.
“In these tough fiscal times, it’s time that we aggressively pursue these debtors and consider an amnesty program to help those who owe the MVC money to pay off their debts. Not only will this help us inject much needed funds into the budget, but will also help countless drivers legitimately become licensed drivers once again.
“With a valid driver’s license a prerequisite for many jobs these days, we need to pursue every opportunity possible to help safe drivers struggling to pay fines and surcharges to become legal drivers.”