AUGUSTA – Less than six weeks after its first stint in the Maine House of Representatives, Democratic representatives voted Tuesday to enact L.D. 405, a bill to allow motor vehicle registration fee increases of 50-67 percent—or $3 million.
The House accepted the Transportation Committee’s divided ought-to-pass report on March 14 and the Senate concurred on April 4. Today’s House vote – 89-57 mostly along party lines – puts the fate of the bill in the Senate.
House Republicans said Democrats are asking Mainers to pick up the tab for the rapidly growing government of their dreams.
“Just yesterday, Democrats rejected millions of dollars’ worth of measures to slow the growth of government,” said House Republican Leader Kenneth Fredette (R-Newport). “Today, they’re voting to allow fee increases. When will it ever be enough?”
Democrats are pushing motor vehicle fee increases on the same day the Taxation Committee is taking up the first parts of a massive middle class tax hike package.
“Mainers already take a big hit every time they go to the town office or the BMV,” said Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton). “The last thing they need is more fees piled on their already stretched household budgets.”
Fredette said that it’s not so much the amount of money at question as it is the principle of the matter. “How can we say ‘no’ to savings initiatives while turning around and asking Mainers to reach into their wallets once again?”