2009 Tax Hike Spurring Decline of Florida's Specialty Plates

For a very long time, specialty plates could be spotted on both quiet and busy roads, drawing the attention of other motorists, and allowing drivers to champion the causes they support. Drivers can support Florida educational institutions, police and fire departments or an ecological matter, such as habitat or species conservation. Since these plates are not the standard plates most people see on the road, it allows them to distinguish themselves, add variety to roads and parking lots, and advertise their interests, However, as of late, higher plate prices and renewal fees have led to a drop in purchases of specialty license plates. In 2012, it was noted that revenue generated from specialty license plates dropped by 17 percent.

Proposals are stirring in the Florida legislature though, mainly in effort to decrease the tax levied on specialty plates. These proposals are clearly an effort to rekindle interest in specialty plates and the causes they stand for. An added benefit to a successful resurgence of specialty plates would be, of course, additional revenue for both the state of Florida and the individual organizations that the plates promote. On average, each individual purchasing a specialty plate would spend $12 less for it than they would have since the tax increase. Universities, non-profit organizations, and municipal service-providers like police and fire departments would welcome a return to the pre-2009 tax rate, not to mention those who would like to express themselves with unique and less expensive license plates.