From The Connecticut Council of Car Clubs

Connecticut Antique Auto Hobbyists:

I am very happy to report that the 2013 Legislative Session ended on Wednesday night with no bills adverse to the antique auto hobby passed! What this means is the maximum $500 property tax assessment on an antique car remains in effect. The minimum age of an antique car remains at 20 years. The last minute proposal to limit the mileage that an antique car with Early American plates to 2000 miles every two years was defeated. And the use of year of manufacture plates will continue to be allowed. This is good news for antique auto hobbyists, and is due in no small part to your efforts voicing your opposition to their legislators! Take time out to congratulate yourselves!

House Bill 6629, which passed the House early Tuesday morning, was not considered by the Senate and was thereby defeated. The bill would have impacted the antique auto hobby in the following ways:

1) The maximum $500 assessed value for the purposes of determining local property tax is increased to $1000.00

2) The minimum age of an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle, or modified antique motor vehicle is increased from 20 to 30 years.

3) Any vehicle currently issued a special number plate, (an Early American plate) for an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle that is less than thirty years old on or before July 1, 2013, shall not be required to forfeit such special number plate. (That is a good thing if the minimum age is increased to 30 years and was what we asked for at the public hearing on House Bill 5102.)

4) Fees collected by the DMV for antique, rare or special interest motor vehicles shall be deposited in the “municipal reimbursement and revenue account” instead of the “special transportation fund.” No increase in the registration fees of antique motor vehicles is specified in the bill as amended.

5) The owner of a vehicle with antique plates must certify that such motor vehicle is not driven more than two thousand miles in a two-year period and provides any additional information the commissioner may require.

House Bill 6629 also proposed to gradually phase out the property tax on modern motor vehicles. This was strongly opposed by municipalities, as the end result of the bill would be to shift the local property tax burden to real estate owners and businesses. The municipal lobbies were our allies in defeating House Bill 6629.

As I understand it, there was some drama on Wednesday, the last day of the session. The Democratic House leadership was looking to include the modern car tax phase out proposal and the above listed antique auto hobby provisions of House Bill 6629 in a draft of the very large budget implementation bill. Due to opposition, these provisions were removed from the final budget implementation bill by the time it was assigned House Bill number 6706 on Wednesday evening. This budget implementation bill was approved by both the House and the Senate Wednesday night prior to the session ending at midnight. This budget implementation bill is on its way to the Governor for his approval. I have reviewed this 486 page budget implementation bill and its amendment and confirmed there is nothing adverse to the antique auto hobby in it.

While we can take a breath and celebrate our success this legislative session, we need to prepare ourselves as the House leadership appears to be intent on pushing their car tax changes and adverse antique auto hobby changes in next year’s legislative session. I would be very surprised if these changes are not introduced in the 2014 legislative session. So I expect a battle again next year!

Dave Bajumpaa
Connecticut Council of Car Clubs
June 7, 2013