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2012 October 18 — Why Now?
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More Privatization

New Florida Plate

The Miami Herald reports on another plan to privatize government functions: Tax collectors fight state plan to outsource license-tag sales

[State highway safety chief Julie] Jones said that PRIDE, the nonprofit prison labor firm that now makes Florida license tags, charges the state 5 cents a tag to ship tags to tax collectors. Hiring a private vendor would eliminate that fee, she said.

The tag redesign is needed, Jones says, because Florida’s current tags with their raised letters are difficult to read by automated cameras at toll booths and red-light intersections. A state study said illegible tags on Florida’s Turnpike costs the state $4 million a year in lost revenue.

In her preliminary budget proposal, she is asking for $23.6 million more next year to re-issue 8.2 million license tags next fiscal year.

So the equipment used by the company that was contracted to collect tolls on the Florida Turnpike doesn’t have the right equipment it uses to charge people for using the road, and apparently the company that runs the ‘red light camera’ operation is just as bad, so the state needs to create a new license plate that their equipment can read with more accuracy [see one of the design suggestions above] and to privatize the issuance of the plates, rather than letting local government continue to provide the same service they have provided since Florida first introduced license plates.

I’m sorry Ms Jones, but I can assure you that the person who buys a Florida license plate pays the cost of shipping, since the state doubled the price of registration last year, so your complaint about 5¢/plate for shipping is really stupid, especially in view of the $23.6 million this plan is going to cost in the first year. This really sounds like something that can wait until the economy improves.

If you are going to redesign the plate, why not find someone who knows the difference between an orange and a peach to create it.

October 18, 2012   6 Comments