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HomeNewsArchivesFEE WOULD HELP DEAL WITH ALL 'RETIRED' VEHICLES

FEE WOULD HELP DEAL WITH ALL 'RETIRED' VEHICLES

Sept. 20, 2001 – While Sen. Celestino White is up in arms about a bill to impose an annual $10 fee on motor vehicle owners that would go toward the cost of disposing of abandoned and legally retired vehicles, others see the need.
The bill would help the territory remove the proliferation of abandoned cars and trucks that lurk in the bushes, sit abandoned in vacant lots or remain where they died along the roads. It also would deal with the problem of what to do with vehicles no longer driveable but disposed of in legal ways at the local dumps.
"Aside from being unsightly, they are a health and environmental hazard," said Geraldine Smith, director of the St. Thomas-St. John Anti-litter and Beautification Commission.
Smith said many mainland municipalities and also those on some other Caribbean islands impose such a fee on the motoring public. "It is time for us to catch up," she said.
The bill calls for the $10 fee to be collected at the same time as annual motor vehicle registration fees, and for the money to go into the Anti-litter and Beautification Fund. Gov. Charles W. Turnbull sent the bill to the Senate, where it now rests with the Finance Committee.
It could not be determined how much revenue the proposed fee is projected to generate.
The bill is "regressive," according to White. "You or I may never ever have a vehicle to be disposed of, yet we will be required to pay this fee," he said in a press release. He said many used vehicles are sold, traded in, shipped off island or lawfully disposed of by tow trucks and that the bill would force vehicle owners to pay for a service they might never use.
He did not address the issue of what it costs to dispose of a retired vehicle by hauling it to the landfill. While some used vehicles leave for another life on the mainland or another island, most remain in the Virgin Islands until they die.
The landfills on both St. Thomas and St. Croix are filled with old cars awaiting an undetermined fate. The pile at the Bovoni facility is about the size of the Cyril E. King Airport terminal.
"Something needs to be done," Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood said. He said his department tags abandoned vehicles, notifying owners to move them. When nothing happens, he said, Property and Procurement Department personnel then cart them away.

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Sept. 20, 2001 - While Sen. Celestino White is up in arms about a bill to impose an annual $10 fee on motor vehicle owners that would go toward the cost of disposing of abandoned and legally retired vehicles, others see the need.
The bill would help the territory remove the proliferation of abandoned cars and trucks that lurk in the bushes, sit abandoned in vacant lots or remain where they died along the roads. It also would deal with the problem of what to do with vehicles no longer driveable but disposed of in legal ways at the local dumps.
"Aside from being unsightly, they are a health and environmental hazard," said Geraldine Smith, director of the St. Thomas-St. John Anti-litter and Beautification Commission.
Smith said many mainland municipalities and also those on some other Caribbean islands impose such a fee on the motoring public. "It is time for us to catch up," she said.
The bill calls for the $10 fee to be collected at the same time as annual motor vehicle registration fees, and for the money to go into the Anti-litter and Beautification Fund. Gov. Charles W. Turnbull sent the bill to the Senate, where it now rests with the Finance Committee.
It could not be determined how much revenue the proposed fee is projected to generate.
The bill is "regressive," according to White. "You or I may never ever have a vehicle to be disposed of, yet we will be required to pay this fee," he said in a press release. He said many used vehicles are sold, traded in, shipped off island or lawfully disposed of by tow trucks and that the bill would force vehicle owners to pay for a service they might never use.
He did not address the issue of what it costs to dispose of a retired vehicle by hauling it to the landfill. While some used vehicles leave for another life on the mainland or another island, most remain in the Virgin Islands until they die.
The landfills on both St. Thomas and St. Croix are filled with old cars awaiting an undetermined fate. The pile at the Bovoni facility is about the size of the Cyril E. King Airport terminal.
"Something needs to be done," Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood said. He said his department tags abandoned vehicles, notifying owners to move them. When nothing happens, he said, Property and Procurement Department personnel then cart them away.