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    Maine's snowmobile registration fees may increase

    Posted by AmSnow
    on Monday, June 24, 2013

     Maine's snowmobile registration fee may increase $5 for residents and $22 for nonresidents after the House and Senate  passed a bill for the increase, according to the Press Herald.

    The bill faces further votes, and it maybe vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage, who generally opposes fee increases.

    L.D. 1263, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Stanley, D-Medway, would increase the annual registration fee from $40 to $45 for Maine residents and from $88 to $110 for nonresidents.

    Nonresidents can purchase a three-day registration. That fee would increase from $43 to $50, under the bill.

    Currently, $7 from each resident's fee goes to the Snowmobile Trail Fund, which is managed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The additional $5 from each registration would go into that fund as well.

    The increased could add $487,000 in revenue in the next fiscal year and an additional $638,000 in 2014-15.

    The bill passed 97-40 in the House late Monday. All Democrats who were present voted for the measure and 13 Republicans joined them.

    The Senate passed the bill 22-13 on Tuesday, with support from all Democrats and from Republicans Patrick Flood of Winthrop and Gary Plummer of Windham.

    Neither vote reached the two-thirds majority necessary to override a veto: 101 votes in the House, 24 votes in the Senate.

    The Snowmobile Trail Fund's revenue comes from two sources: registration fees and a small portion of the state's fuel tax.

    Sen. David Dutremble, D-Biddeford, who spoke in favor of L.D. 1263 on Wednesday, said even with those sources, the fund covers only about 60 percent of the cost of grooming and maintaining snowmobile trails.

    Dutremble said snowmobile clubs are asking him to support the measure.

    The bill, as drafted, sought to increase the fee for residents from $40 to $60. It was amended before it passed through committee.

    The original bill also would have created tax exemptions on some equipment related to snowmobile maintenance, but those were stripped.

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