CALIFORNIA CRAZY: California is the home of LCT Magazine, but we must admit that our state can be a royal embarrassment. Because liberal legislators have been too inept and greedy to keep the state budget balanced since the late 1990s, the annual vehicle licensing fee now must rise from .65% of the value of a vehicle to 1.15%. And guess which businesses are affected the most? Those with fleets. Even moreso, those with luxury fleets. So the "car tax" on a $70,000 limousine will rise from $455 per year to $805 per year. This is just one more hurdle for the chauffeured transportation industry in California, which already faces enough of an anti-business climate. We urge operators and the GCLA and its lobbyist to look into offsets, exemptions, and/or legislation that can at least spare providers of ground group transportation the dreadful car tax inrease. Whether the vehicle is a bus or limo, they're both greener, safer, and more efficient than self-transportation since they take vehicles off the road. Sounds like an industry ripe for a tax rebate or giveback. -- M.R.
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