New car registration law proposed

The All-American Chevrolet dealership on Central Texas Expressway in Killeen is seen Friday. A proposal aimed at cutting paperwork for car dealers died in a Texas Senate committee.

GATESVILLE — A measure aimed at cutting paperwork for auto dealers but might have meant lost tax revenue for some rural counties died in committee before Texas lawmakers ended their session Monday.

The bill, introduced by state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, would have eliminated the requirement of auto sellers to provide a form to buyers to designate the county to receive all taxes, fees and other revenue from auto sales transactions.

Under current law, a car buyer uses the form to choose to register the vehicle in the county where it is purchased, where it is encumbered or in the owner’s county of residence.

Some rural counties with few large auto dealerships would have lost tax revenue if the required form had been eliminated, Coryell County Tax Assessor/Collector Justin Carothers said.

If a Coryell County resident buys a vehicle in Bell County, Carothers said, he can designate Coryell as the county to receive the revenue from the transaction.

The county’s share of fees and sales tax on a $30,000 vehicle transaction would be $110, Carothers said.

Car dealers prefer to register the vehicles in the county where the sale takes place, Carothers said.

Harper-Brown’s measure passed the House on May 2, but stalled in the Senate Transportation Committee.

“It’s doomed,” said Danny Langfield, deputy director of the Texas Independent Auto Dealers Association.

State Sen. Troy Fraser’s staff confirmed the bill died in committee.

“This was our bill, but it’s dead now,” Langfield said. “We will fight another day.”

Langfield said the measure was an effort to reduce the paperwork involved in auto sales.

“Automobile sales are tremendously regulated,” he said. “There is a ton of paperwork, and this bill would have reduced the paperwork.”

Contact Tim Orwig at

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