By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor
A community in upstate New York will soon start charging residents more for vehicle registrations. Truck drivers are unlikely to be surprised that they will be called on to pay more than motorists.
Legislators in Franklin County, NY, voted in favor of adding a surcharge to motor vehicle registrations to help cover local Department of Motor Vehicles operating expenses.
The fee for personal vehicles will increase $5 while the cost for commercial vehicles will increase $10. The changes take effect in January 2012 and will be charged every two years.
New York state law authorizes local governments to apply the added expense. Of the state’s 62 counties, 38 have implemented the surcharge.
Franklin County officials say the added charge would allow them to tap into the Internet and the mailbox for more money.
Currently, DMV registrations that are done online and through the mail are routed solely to the state DMV. The bulk of registrations paid at county offices in Saranac Lake or Malone also go to the state. The county claims about 13 percent of in-person payments.
Supporters say the surcharge will also give the county more people to draw revenue from. Property owners now bear the sole responsibility to support the DMV. The change allows the county to require anyone who owns a vehicle in the county to chip in.
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