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House GOP: Maine Dems Push Yet Another Fee Hike

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Snowmobile registration fee hike just one in series of recent increases on Mainers

AUGUSTA – The Maine House of Representatives voted Monday in favor of yet another fee increase measure.

The bill, L.D. 1263, imposes a 13 percent increase on resident snowmobile registration fees with a $5 hike, from $40 to $45.  This fee hike comes on the heels of Democrat-led increases to ATV registration feesregistry of deeds fees, and municipal agent fees for passenger vehicle registrations.

“We all want to make sure the trails are properly groomed,” said Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapleton).  “The problem is that state government keeps demanding more money from working Mainers in order to do it.  The state should prioritize its funding and do this within existing resources.”

[RELATED: House Democrats vote to increase ATV fees…]

Rep. Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester), who serves on the legislature’s Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IFW) Committee, which sent the bill to the floor mostly along party lines, agreed.

“While the Department of Health and Human Services gives us massive cost overruns every year because of our out-of-control welfare system, working Mainers are being asked to fork over more money every time they go to the town office,” said Espling.

The most recent fee hike came last Thursday, when the House enacted L.D. 559 along party lines, slapping an extra $6 fee on those recording an instrument, including plans, at all county registries of deeds.  Under the bill, fees will reach $19 for instruments generally and $21 for plans, a 40-46 percent increase.

[RELATED: Democrats allow $3 million vehicle fee hike…]

“These fee hikes are coming at us from all angles, and I can’t support them as long as we have so much waste and overspending in state government,” said Rep. Rick Long (R-Sherman).

Rep. Long spoke on the House floor about how his constituents struggle to keep their sleds on the trail as it is.  “Some are saying that the snowmobile clubs support this, but I know mine doesn’t,” he said.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson was the editor of The Maine Wire from 2013 through 2014. A native of Dexter, Maine, Robinson is a graduate of Bowdoin College, and is currently a Producer for The Howie Carr Show in Boston.

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