AUGUSTA — Maine motorists could pay higher vehicle registration fees if a bill that's received final House passage becomes law.
The House voted 89-57 on Tuesday to allow an increase in the motor vehicle licensing and registration service fees collected and retained by municipalities. The renewal of a license or registration would increase from $3 to $5, and the allowable service fee for a new license or registration would increase from $4 to $6. The bill awaits final Senate action.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Alan Casavant, said the measure would give cities and towns the choice to increase fees by a couple of dollars to cover the basic costs of registering and re-registering cars.
Casavant, who also is mayor of Biddeford, said cash-strapped municipalities now are unable to cover the cost of that basic duty and proposed budget cuts would only make those circumstances worse.
Republicans criticized the majority Democrats for the proposed increases, saying they are "raiding the pockets of hardworking Mainers to the tune of $3 million."