"Vanity" tags bring in millions of dollars to the state - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

"Vanity" tags bring in millions of dollars to the state

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Vanity or personalized license plates fund millions of dollars to the state annually.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue (MDR) reports $11 million dollars from these license plates going to the general fund for fiscal year 2010.

Driver Charcinda Glasper has a personalized plate that says, "DREADS" on it. Glasper says she's had it now for about a year and says it her way of "personalizing" her style.

"Just to single yourself out between everyone else." Glasper continued, "It's because that's like the style of hair that I like the most."

Vanity plates are those license plates like Glasper's that have a personal message etched on them.

Spokesperson Kathy Waterbury says "specialized" plates are those that represent colleges and universities, veteran affairs, or an organization. 

She says majority of these funds goes back to the organization, and that users would have to pay an additional annual "fee" to maintain of these tags.

"It is collected by the county tax collector, we account for it and then transfer that money to those various funds. We send them to the organizations fund that is set up for their tag fees."

Waterbury says a smaller portion gets sent to the state.

"Some monies go to the Department of Archives and History, some to the Department of Transportation, it just depends on the plate."

For instance, a specialized plate through Breast Cancer Awareness is an extra $31 dollars tacked onto the regular tag fee that is paid to the county.

However, $24 total dollars from one of these plates would go back to the organization.

Waterbury says the organization goes to the state legislature for approval to determine if they can distribute personalized plates in the state.

MDR sites more than 627,000 specialized license plates registered in the state so far in 2010. Of these, more than 79,000 are vanity or personalized plates.

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