Pharr moves closer to used car fee

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POSTED: Friday, March 7, 2014 - 5:04pm

UPDATED: Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 11:46am

The city of Pharr is moving forward with its plan to tax and fee used cars and their dealers.  

The plan calls for $1,000 from each dealer for licensing.  Every used car sold will have $25 tacked on.  Pharr is trying to get some kind of tax revenue from car sales.  

"There's no sales tax charged on those cars," Pharr city manager Fred Sandoval said. "The state gets their tax, but the city does not get any kind of sales tax." 

Pharr needs to clear the final of three hurdles to implement the ordinance.  Thursday's vote was a watered-down version of the first vote in February. The first vote called for dealers to return a percentage of all sales. The final vote on March 18 may look very different as well.

"I can't tell you that it's going to end up at a certain fee, it may end up without a fee," Sandoval said.  

The ordinance raised eyebrows when it was first brought up because it didn't specify where the money was going.  Pharr officials say the money will go towards road improvements.  

The Department of Transportation said it wouldn't pay for certain roads anymore.  Now cities in Texas are left with the bill.  

Raul Gonzalez is the general manager of A&B Auto Sales in Pharr. He gathered a group of dealers at Thursday's commission meeting. Members of the public weren't allowed to speak at the meeting, but industry groups drafted a letter to the commission voicing their concerns.  

"If it's going to be something that's better for the community, we are absolutely willing to help," Gonzalez said. "So I think everybody's willing to do their part, we just have a real problem with being the only guys."  

"We're feeling a little targeted at this point in time, as far as how we've become the best source of revenue for the city."  

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