Trailer tax could improve revenue, safety

January 26, 2013 

Re Jan. 17 letter by Javier Duran, “Taxing trailers not the answer.”

My question would be, why should owners of a trailer be exempt from paying their fair share?

I have lived in another state that not only required a registration and annual plate fees but were also very strict with safety laws. Every day I see trailers with no lights, no safety chains and very inadequate tie downs. I steer away from those vehicles. Why? Because I remember an occasion that a trailer was incorrectly fastened to the tow vehicle and came loose. A young father and three children were killed instantly. Registration and safety enforcements can prevent this from happening.

If trailers are using our highways, why shouldn’t they pay a share of the cost of those roads? The fee does not need to be the same as for an automobile.

Aren’t truck fees higher than automobile fees? Most states have a $5 to $10 fee for trailers. If you can afford a boat, can’t you afford to pay $10 to haul it on the highways and share the cost of those highways? As for mechanical repairs, trailer repairs are not as costly as automobile and truck repairs, yet we are required to pay a registration fee.

You said in your letter “the answer is less taxes and less spending.” Are you saying we should not spend money to build and maintain our highways? If we want to have good roads, we have to be willing to pay our fair share when we use them.

South Carolina is missing millions of dollars by not enforcing registration of trailers that would help pay for highways, and then perhaps gasoline taxes would not need to be raised.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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