Not sold on used car fee

NEWSCENTER 23
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POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 4:47pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 28, 2014 - 9:38am

Auto dealers in Pharr can breathe a sigh of relief. City commissioners officially backed off on new fees charged to dealers. 

The commission called a special meeting Thursday just to take the fees off the ordinance. 

"We're glad to have those issues put to rest," said Kirk Clark of Charlie Clark Honda, a new dealership opening in Pharr on May 15. "Because I don't think the city, even though they conceived this as being a possibility in helping the city, was actually going to be to the detriment not only to the dealers, but to the customers."

The original plan had every used car lot in the city pay licensing fees. It also asked for a percentage of sales and fees for every car bought. 

Car dealer associations in the Valley and statewide voiced their disapproval after three separate votes on the proposal. 

City officials backed off.

"We realized the fee structure was something that we couldn't get behind, and that was the wishes of the board," Pharr city manager Fred Sandoval said.  

Pharr officials blamed the fees on the Department of Transportation.They said the city needed the fees to pay for new costs from TxDOT.  TxDOT will no longer require the fees as originally thought.  

"This whole process, if anything, has brought us closer to the auto dealers. To a point where they've even volunteered to help us lobby," Sandoval said. "In the grand scheme of things, it worked out pretty good." 

The fees are gone, but the ordinance still passed.  It has restrictions on the size and location of new used car dealerships. 

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