Naples to rev up vehicle registrations of new voters

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The Town of Naples will try to rev up the number of vehicles registrations being done with the town.

By sending out mailings to remind new residents to register their vehicles with Naples, the town could bolster a familiar revenue stream.

The letters aren’t in the mail yet.

According to Naples Town Manager Ephrem Paraschak, he plans to pen a simple, straight-forward form letter to be mailed to new residents in the next week or so.

“I think it’s a good idea to welcome new residents and let them know where they can register their vehicles,” Paraschak said

“I don’t think it’s going to bring in a lot of money,” he said, adding it would not be much more than what is normally collected through vehicle registrations each year.

The idea was brought up by Selectman Rich Cebra during the Naples Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Jan. 23.

“I would like to ask the selectmen to ask the town clerk to provide notice to all newly-registered voters in Naples,” Cebra said.

It was suggested that the letter should let new-to-town people know the location of facilities like the transfer station, the library, the post office, etc.

The letter would remind people that it is “their legal responsibility to register their vehicles,” Cebra said.

“This is a problem in the state — people move and don’t change licenses and don’t change registrations,” he said.

“Everybody has a car…,” he said. “Over the course of the year, they will have to register their car here.”

“We could spend $150 on stamps and we would bring in more money,” he said.

The money that the town receeves from vehicle registrations could be used to fix town roads, Cebra said.

The vehicle registration is an excise tax based on the age and the value of the vehicle, according to a State of Maine government website. The excise tax is calculated by using the mil rate. This excise tax, in addition to a base registration fee, is paid to the town in which the vehicle is registered. The registration is renewed annually.

By law, as Cebra pointed out, “After 30 days of establishing a new residency (in the State of Maine), it is a crime not to reregister your vehicle and to renew your driver’s license.”

However, a point that was clarified during the meeting, people moving from one town in Maine to another municipality in Maine can wait until their vehicle registration expires.

“In this area, a lot of people are coming from out of state,” Cebra said.

He was basing the volume of new Naples residents on the number of voters who registered for the first time with town. There were 270 people who registered to vote in the most recent election, he said.

It was mentioned that some of those people may have already lived in Naples and simply for the first time registered to vote in their town.

During the Jan. 23 meeting, Paraschak agreed it would be good to encourage the payment of vehicle registrations.

He said that the Town Clerk Judy Whynot and the staff are familiar with the townspeople and could “figure out who is new to town.”

“I can write a very simple ‘welcome to Naples’ letter,” Paraschak said.

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