The legislature today agreed to repeal the $15 increase in the ATV registration fee. Any person who paid the additional fee will be entitled to an extension of their registration for one year. The increased fee was supposed to fund publicly operated trails that would have been monitored and regulated by the state.
The license renewal fee, which is paid annually, will return to its original rate of ten dollars. As it stands, people who paid the increase will only receive 66 percent of the money they paid.
This imbalance has many lawmakers questioning the logic behind the repeal.
“This is a classic example of the government wasting citizens’ money,” said Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) . “I want to know what the state is doing with the extra five dollars it is pocketing. Our citizens who paid that fee have the right to know and should be entitled to a full refund or a one and a half year license extension. Does the state waive money that citizens owe the government? I think not,” added Hawley.
The legislature also rejected the governor’s $850,000 proposal for state run and monitored ATV trails. Currently in New York there are no state operated ATV trails. The Department of Motor Vehicles, the stage agency that collects the ATV license fees, does not provide any trail maintenance, development, or enforcement.
“ATV users are not getting any return for the fee they currently pay,” said Hawley. “When I renew my driver’s license and pay that fee, I know some of that money goes to paving roads and making certain traffic lights are working. When you pay the DMV for an ATV license renewal, nobody seems to know what that money is used for since we have no state operated trails.”
The Assembly minority is calling for the ten dollar fee to be repealed altogether. “It makes no sense for us to charge people for a service the state does not provide,” said Hawley.