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More Privatization — 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.


1 Badtux { 10.19.12 at 11:31 am }

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.


(For those who don’t know — peaches need a certain number of “chill hours” during the winter to fruit, and thus don’t do well in most of Florida, which is why the Florida state fruit is not the peach, duh!).

2 Bryan { 10.19.12 at 12:29 pm }

Every damn ‘orange’ they put on Florida license plates looks more like a peach. If they ever picked a ripe orange they would know that the stem detaches and no leaves come with them. They are also ORANGE, not yellow and orange, with the possibility of some green if they are picked early.

You shouldn’t have to read the state name to figure out if it is a Florida or Georgia plate.

3 hipparchia { 10.20.12 at 9:56 pm }

if i squint a little, that plate reads vampire squid

4 Bryan { 10.20.12 at 11:42 pm }

Yep, that’s about it, Hipparchia. We know that the price of plates will go up again, not to mention the loss of revenue for the prison system.

They say they are going to change the specialized plates, so I guess people with specialized plates can avoid tolls and red light cameras with impunity. That doesn’t seem very logical to me if there really is a big problem.

5 hipparchia { 10.23.12 at 9:43 pm }

people with specialized plates can avoid tolls and red light cameras with impunity.

ha, guess which one of your headers showed up when i clicked on this post just now…

i’ve been considering getting one of the wildlife specialty plates the next time i’m supposed to buy a new one. $25/year to help manatees or panthers or sea turtles AND making things a smidgen more difficult for the ever-expanding police state, what’s not to like?

meanwhile, it looks like the opposition to the vampire squid plan has the upper hand, for now: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/local/florida-slams-on-brakes-delays-action-on-license-plate-makeover/1257982

6 Bryan { 10.23.12 at 11:59 pm }

My Mother has a Hospice plate on the Honda, as she is a long time volunteer after my Dad had them at the end, so I’m safe when I drive that.

I would assume as soon as people saw the $23.6 million price tag there was panic in the ranks of ‘fiscal conservatives’ after hearing a few ‘new over-priced government projects’ from the tea-partiers.

They can save money by eliminating the county name and use ‘Sunshine State’ for all of the regular plates, instead of having the three versions that are currently available, i.e. SS, county, and the ‘G*d’ plate. If you are going to have a new plate, introduce it when people normally replace their plates, after 5 years.

Someone needs to explain to the Fraudster and his minions that government is not a business, and you can’t just throw away all of the current stock of anything when you make a change. Governments don’t get tax write-offs to cover that kind of silliness.