That’s the sign that will soon greet new county residents who are switching their car registration from another state to South Carolina and find they are forced to pay an extra $250 fee.
It’s one of many new fees included in the gas tax increase plan passed by the legislature this year, including a $16 increase for local car owner registration.
The new registration fee goes into effect Saturday.
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County Auditor Lois Eargle said Tuesday she’s concerned her office will receive backlash from frustrated new residents who don’t want to pay the fee.
“What we fear in our office, is that when someone finds out when they go to the DMV they’ve got to pay that additional $250, they might think ‘I’m just not going to register my car,’” Eargle told council members on the administration committee.
“Then what’s going to happen when they come back over for a refund?” asked Eargle, making clear she was not inclined to give one.
County Attorney Arrigo Carotti recommended that a notice be placed in the auditor’s office alerting car owners to the $250 fee, “so they are on notice that is what they are getting ready to pay.”
Eargle is taking the advice, and says the warning will be in “big letters.”
County Councilman Paul Prince asked if that meant new county residents will just keep driving with out-of-state tags to avoid paying the fee.
“Until they get caught by the highway patrol, then they’re going to pay a penalty,” Eargle responded.
The gas tax will climb from 16 cents a gallon to 28 cents over several years, with the first hike of two cents beginning just before the Fourth of July holiday.
Other new fees include $60 every two years for hybrid car owners, and $120 for electric cars.
Used cars also will cost more. Any vehicle with a price range between $6,000 and $10,000 will see a sales tax hike of an additional $200.