Cut Historic Car Fees

Annapolis '92

January 19, 1992

ANNAPOLIS — Sen. Larry E. Haines, R-Carroll, Baltimore, testified last week in support of his bill to establish a one-time $35 registration fee for historic vehicles manufactured before 1946.

The legislation is opposed by the state Motor Vehicle Administration, which says that state and local governments will lose transportation money if the bill is enacted.

Currently, owners of the historic vehicles pay $13.50 annually inregistration fees.

Haines said that creating a one-time fee wouldencourage more owners of historic vehicles to register them. The vehicles often are transported to parades or exhibits by truck so the owners can avoid registering them.

Because they are not used as daily transportation, the historic vehicles should be subject to different registration requirements, Haines argued before the Senate JudicialProceedings Committee.

Antique-car aficionados Sterling E. Walsh of Hampstead and Ralph B. Price and Walter T. Haines of Westminster testified in favor of the bill at the hearing.

State transportationrevenues would increase by $30,100 in fiscal 1993 because of the higher fee, but would decrease by $18,900 annually in subsequent years by eliminating the annual fee, says a fiscal analysis of the bill.

Local highway revenues could increase by $12,900 in fiscal 1993 but would decrease by $8,100 in subsequent years.

Seventy percent of the revenue collected goes to the state, while 30 percent is shared with local governments. Baltimore receives half of the local share.

MVA estimates there are 2,000 vehicles in Maryland manufactured prior to 1946.

The bill passed the Senate last year but was killed in a House committee.

COCKFIGHT BILL INTRODUCED

DATELINE: ANNAPOLIS

Del. Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard, has introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to be a spectator at a cockfighting event.

The bill was prompted by an event last spring in which arrests were made at a cockfight in Charles County. Carroll Humane Society Carolyn "Nicky" Ratliff requested the legislation, said Elliott.

It is a misdemeanor in Maryland to engage in arranging and conducting a cockfight, an event in which spectators bet on the chicken they believe will survive the battle.

Currently, it is a misdemeanor to be a spectator at a cockfight in 19 states, said Elliott.

RECYCLE WHEELCHAIRS

DATELINE: ANNAPOLIS

Del. Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll, Howard, has submitted a bill that could save the state an estimated $1 millionannually by creating a method to re-use "durable medical equipment" provided to medical assistance clients.

The recommendation was included among the House Republican Caucus' long list of cost-saving suggestions released last week.

Equipment that could be re-distributed includes wheelchairs, walkers and other structural devices that theDepartment of Health and Mental Hygiene does not recover now.

Theapproximately $2.2 million program providing the equipment to the low-income was threatened to be cut during a round of budget reductionslast fall, but eventually was restored.

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