The envelopes carrying the bad news were pink but many of the D.C. residents who received them last week saw red.
Information in the bright little envelopes told District residents that it would cost almost one-third more to register their cars in the city this year.
For instance, the Pinto that cost $43.50 to register last year costs $53.50 this year.The Cadillac that was $70.50 last year is $99.50 this year.
The mayor's office and city council members were deluged last week with telephone calls from citizens complaining about the increases. The telephone calls are continuing this week.
The mayor and City Council raised the auto registration fees last spring to help finance the city's billion-dollar fiscal 1977 budget. The news media reported the increases at the time.
But the impact of the increases was not felt until the license renewal letters started arriving last week.
The government also raised the personal income tax rate by 9 per cent last year and this increase is also just being felt.
These two increases were among 10 higher taxes and city fees narrowly approved by the Council last year. Other increases called for higher water and sewer rates, higher sales taxes on restaurant meals, hotel rooms, parking and cigarettes. The package totaled about $80 million.
One bright spot in the tax picture is that car registration fees are scheduled to go down next year.
The following chart shows first, the auto registration fees that city car owners must pay by March 31 and secondly, the fees that will be due next year. Registration costs are determined by the weight of the car, and there is an additional $3.50 registration fee.
Subcompacts - 2800 lbs. or less, VW, Vega, Chevette etc., $50; $35.
Compacts - 2801-3499 lbs., Camaro, Maverick, Nova etc., $57; $42.
Mid-size - 3500-3999 lbs., Skylark, Chevelle, Torino, $83; $68.
Full-size - 4000 lbs. or more, Cadillacs, Oldsmobile, LTD, $96; $76.
The following shows the impact of the 9 per cent income tax increase.
Those with a taxable income of $5,000 currently pay $190 and would pay $200 under the new schedule.
For the following taxable incomes, here are first, the current taxes, and second, the new taxes: $10,000 - $510, $550; $20,000 - $1,320, $1,450; $30,000 - $2,270, $2,500; $50,000 - $4,270, $4,700.
The Council and the mayor this year approved changes in the deduction allowances for child care and medical expenses that will benefit many District residents. But these changes will not go into effect until next year.