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Unregistered cars costing county thousands, sheriff says

August 30, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County is losing thousands of dollars in tax revenues as a result of local residents who own cars that are registered in other states, the county sheriff said Thursday.

The problem was illustrated during a traffic checkpoint the sheriff's department and the Charles Town Police Department conducted Tuesday night along U.S. 230 at the Meadowbrook subdivision, said Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober.

Boober said that between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., police stopped 40 motorists who live in West Virginia, but who did not have their cars registered in West Virginia.

The motorists were given 30 days to register their cars in the state, said Boober.

If the motorists do not register their cars in the state within 30 days, they can face a fine of up to $500, Boober said.

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Improperly registered cars have been a common problem in the Eastern Panhandle over the years, he said.

Boober estimated the 40 motorists who were stopped Tuesday represent at least $3,480 in personal property taxes that the county is not collecting as a result of the cars not being registered in the state.

To make the estimation, Boober used a figure of $4,600, which he said is a conservative estimate of the average value of each car in the county. A car valued at $4,600 generates about $87 in personal property tax each year, Boober said.

The checkpoint, which also was designed to enforce the state's seat belt law, resulted in 250 cars being pulled over and inspected, Boober said.

Boober said 82 of the cars checked had out-of-state registrations.

The sheriff's department and Charles Town police were conducting another traffic check point on Hostler Road on the Blue Ridge Mountain Thursday night.

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