Monday, August 18, 2014

Throwing shade on driver surcharges

There have been two recent news articles on Texas' Driver Responsibility surcharge:
And two more opinion pieces calling for its abolition:
Nearly everyone who examines this closely - whatever their base ideology - soon comes to the conclusions that it should be abolished because of the myriad, highly damaging unintended consequences the program generates. The sticking point: How to replace the revenue? But that's not an issue of math but of political courage and thus is much more difficult to predict.

See Grits extensive past coverage of the surcharge and efforts to repeal it.


MaxM said...

Has anyone looked to see if there is any lobbying effort to keep the program coming from the collections company that DPS has contracted or anyone else beside trauma centers that have benefited from this thing?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if a policy to make fines a percentage of annual income would provide a more effective deterent, more equity and revenue.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@MaxM, the vendor keeps their head pretty low. There's some lobbying that goes on, but more with the agency than the Lege and all very behind the scenes. They're certainly not driving the train. The issues are mainly a) inertia b) funding the hospitals and c) replacing the GR money.

Anonymous said...

Can you find out how much money the hospitals are getting a year from the surcharge? How much the state gets? How much MSB gets?
I would like to know the exact number of drivers that have surcharges pending.

Another issue is that not only are drivers being charged for surcharges but that many have an automatic suspension of 2 years! Not even a felony DWI conviction is given a 2 year suspension.