When the Ada County Highway District pleaded poverty this week and floated the idea of doubling the fees for vehicle registration, it re-ignited a long smoldering issue the GUARDIAN has with rental car agencies and some other commercial vehicle users.
Some 20 years ago when Ada County created the laws for emission testing and the surcharge for street and bridge replacement, the rental car folks suddenly created “offices” in places like Mountain Home, Caldwell, Pocatello–ANYWHERE other than Ada County to register their vehicles and avoid the local taxes which can be $40 per vehicle.
We have done checking over the years and find it is a scam, but there is no enforcement. State law allows you to register a vehicle in any county, but the home address must be the county of RESIDENCE. Hunters and “old Idahoans” register in Boise County so they are not obvious Boise dudes when they visit the rural areas seeking permission to hunt.
Check out the rental cars at the airport and you will see mostly 2C and 8B plates. We did some informal records checking a year ago and learned that since Ada County is the only county in all of Idaho that charges fees other than the state motor vehicle rate, there was little interest in tracking down the cheaters.
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