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Vehicle registration fee to increase

March 29, 2001

Vehicle registration fee to increase



ANNAPOLIS - The cost of registering a car in Maryland will increase from $70 to $76.

The Maryland Senate voted 39-5 Wednesday to increase the two-year registration to shore up the state's financially ailing emergency medical system.

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Sen. Alex X. Mooney was the only local lawmaker to vote against the fee increase, which takes effect July 1.

"In a time of budget surpluses we shouldn't be taxing our citizens," said Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington.

Gov. Parris Glendening chose not to add money for the emergency system to the budget because the system has traditionally been funded through a car registration surcharge. Under the plan, the surcharge would increase from $16 to $22 for a two-year registration.

Lawmakers who voted for the fee increase said it's a small price to pay for a statewide system of medevac helicopters plus the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

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"I hope none of us ever needs it but if we do we know it will be there," said Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, D-Baltimore.

The registration fee also pays for training for fire and rescue volunteers and grants and low-interest loans to local fire and rescue companies.

- Laura Ernde

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