|The Freddie the Freeroader campaign reminds Kentucky residents why dodging vehicle use taxes hurts us all.|
(img: Kentucky Department of Revenue)
by Robin Gee, city council beat editor
No one likes to pay taxes, but it’s a necessary evil when it comes to having safe highways and roads running across our state. This is the message of the Freddie the Freeroader campaign, a program designed to remind Kentucky residents why paying vehicle usage taxes is so important, and why dodging those taxes hurts everyone who uses the roads in our state. In fact, this form of tax dodging costs the state millions annually.
"Kentucky residents are required by state law to register their vehicles in Kentucky. This state law has been on the books for a very long time, but given our close proximity to other states it is important to offer an occasional reminder," said Fort Thomas Police Chief Casey Kilgore.
RELATED: Read Chief Kilgore's letter on Freddy Freeroaders here.
Fort Thomas has joined other Northern Kentucky communities, including Newport, in the awareness campaign.
The chief issued a statement this week explaining that the money collected through this tax is vital to maintaining Kentucky’s highways. Approximately 60 percent of those taxes collected go to the local community — not just for road maintenance but to support public schools, libraries, fire and ambulance services, with the remainder going to the General Fund.
Dodging the System Hurts Us All
Some state residents try to beat the system by using out-of-state plates or temporary tags, but in the end they are hurting their neighbors and themselves, he said. The Freddie the Freeroader program provides citizens an opportunity to help identify residents who are not in compliance with the law, he explained.
"As local law enforcement, it is our job to enforce all laws on the books. This particular program allows concerned citizens to report this activity directly to the Department of Revenue so they may follow up directly with the owner. By doing this, the process may allow for owners to become in compliance with the law, without physically being cited to court," Kilgore said.
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Through the program, citizens can send information if they notice residents with expired temporary or permanent tags or whose cars have had out-of-state licenses for more than 15 days. The law only affects vehicles for home use. Company vehicles are not covered in this law.
Those reporting are asked to provide:
- the license plate number;
- the issuing state;
- the make, model and color of the vehicle; and
- the date, time and location where the vehicle was observed.