Senate Bill 305 passed narrowly on Thursday by a vote of 30-19, with 11 GOP senators voting against the proposal, which they viewed as a tax hike. Currently, new car dealers collect a fee of $3 on each sale or lease. The legislation sought to raise that fee to $5.
The fee is sent to the Office of Planning and Budget's new motor vehicle arbitration account. Some Democrats balked at the need for an increase, arguing that the fee raises more money than the agency's budget requires. The excess funds are transferred to the general treasury per state law.
The bill now heads to the House.