According to the bill, any law enforcement agency that impounds a vehicle that was used to make meth, will have to report that vehicle to the department of revenue within 30 days. The department would then issue a new title for that vehicle and add “Methamphetamine Vehicle” on the front of the title. Anyone who buys that vehicle, even if its resold, would also have “Methamphetamine Vehicle” noted across the front of the title they are issued. The bill was passed on May 12, 2011.
The cost of implementing a disclosure law for meth lab vehicles in TN, according to the Department of Revenue, isn’t cheap. A breakdown of expenses by the Fiscal Review Committee of the Tennessee General Assembly shows that this well-intentioned bill will cost Tennessee taxpayers a bundle.
- $179,000 to purchase the computers, software, and other equipment needed to implement it. (one time expense)
- $1,219,700.00 to hire an additional 35 additional employees that will are needed to implement the problem. $850,000 (salaries) plus $369,000 (benefits). (recurring expense)
- $1,215,758 for new forms, materials, and office supplies. (recurring expense)
When you add it all up, putting “Methamphetamine Vehicle” on the titles of vehicles that have been used to make meth would cost taxpayers in Tennessee over $2 million dollars a year. The recurring cost of hiring new employees and office expenses which will need to be paid every year will be at least $2,435,458.00. As years go by, increases in employee benefit packages (health insurance, etc), increasing cost for office supplies, and an increasing meth lab problem in Tennessee will only add to the cost of implementing a “Methamphetamine Vehicle” title law.
The bill does not include a requirement that the vehicles be decontaminated before they are sold.
Now what if:
Pseudoephedrine were a prescription drug in Tennessee and meth cooks couldn’t get their hands on the only ingredient they absolutely need to have to make meth? The cost of implementing that is $0 and the benefits to all Tennesseans would be communities that are healthier and safer for them and their children.