Since April, Senate Bill 451 has been reported favorably by the Transportation Committee. On May 5th, the Senate referred this bill to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.
However, an amendment to this bill has been introduced that would eliminate the concern identified in the April notification that would require the owners of the 3,400 antique vehicles between 20 and 24 years old turning in their “Classic Vehicle” or “Early American” plates and re-registering their vehicles with regular plates. In addition, the amendment would maintain the maximum $500 assessment on those 20-24 year old vehicles that currently receive that benefit, effectively “grandfathering” them. The amendment is identified by LCO Amendment Number 6512. While there is no direct evidence why this amendment was introduced, it could be speculated that it was a result of antique auto hobbyists contacting their State Senators and voicing their opposition to the bill as requested. So, for those of you that contacted your State Senator, your assistance on this issue is greatly appreciated! It demonstrates we can make a difference! However we are not done yet…
We need to note that while LCO Amendment Number 6512 to Senate Bill 451 has been introduced, it has not yet been voted on, so the changes are not yet part of the bill. After the bill is reported back to the Senate after the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee reviews it, the Senate will vote on the Amendment and the bill. If passed by the Senate, it would then go to the House for a vote. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill, it would go to the Governor, and if he signs it, it would become law.
The bill proposes :
1. An owner of an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle may be required by their local property tax assessors to provide reasonable documentation once every three years that such motor vehicle meets the definition of an antique rare or special interest motor vehicle. (Currently, hobbyists that have vehicles without “Early American” or “Classic Vehicle” plates may be required to provide their local property tax assessor annual documentation that their hobby vehicle meets the definition of an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle such that the maximum $500 assessment applies. If you have the plates, no documentation is required, which is why we recommend you get the plates on your vehicle.)
2 For applying the $500 maximum property tax assessment and issuance of special number plates, the bill raises the minimum age of an antique, rare or special interest motor vehicle from 20 to 25 years. With LCO Amendment Number 6512 (if approved by the Senate) current vehicles 20 to 24 years old with special number plates would be “grandfathered.”
In the past, the Connecticut Council of Car Clubs has not been opposed to raising the minimum age of an antique rare or special interest motor vehicle to 25 years. This increase in the minimum age reduces our hobby’s exposure to legislative challenges to the maximum $500 assessment benefit. This increase also acknowledges that vehicle quality has increased over the years such that most modern vehicles survive 20 years, making them more common than ever.
Based on the above information, we recommend Connecticut antique auto hobbyists contact their State Senators at this time (particularly those who have already engaged their Senator on this Bill) and voice your Support of LCO Amendment Number 6512 to Senate Bill 451.