Specialty license plates sales have generated $10.5 million for the state’s general revenue fund so far, and the program will likely exceed the $25 million five-year-contract guarantee from My Plates, a marketing company that provides Texans more custom license plate choices.
My Plates has sold more than 98,000 new plates and renewals halfway through the contract. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles estimates My Plates will surpass it’s obligation if new orders and renewals stay on track.
“The Department is committed to the success of the My Plates program, authorized by the Legislature to raise badly needed revenue for the State’s general fund. I am pleased that My Plates is on track to meet or exceed their $25 million commitment to the State,” Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board Chairman Victor Vandergriff said.
The specialty license plate project “allows Texans to express themselves in a fun way, while also providing additional funding for the state, which benefits us all,” says Randy Elliston, director of the department’s Vehicle Titles and Registration.
The My Plates specialty license program started in November 2009 following legislative action. Lawmakers deserve credit for approving the program, My Plates’ board member Nina Vaca said: “Rather than mandate a new tax or fee to address the State’s debt burden, lawmakers got creative,” she said. “They saw a way that more choices in plates could mean more funding for services to all Texans—without costing taxpayers a dime.”
That’s nice and all, but let’s keep a little perspective amid the rah-rah stuff. That’s ten million bucks over a two year period. The state budget for a biennium is close to $80 billion, which makes the MyPlates revenue a bit more than 0.01% of the total. I’m glad to have it, but it’s not like we’ve uncovered a secret way to avoid taxes or deficits. It’s a tiny drop in a large bucket.