November 18, 2017
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Comments for: Snowmobile clubs to push for higher registration fees

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  • Ben Hutchins

    I suspect what this scheme will do is not encourage early registration so much as discourage late registration. Not well-thought-out.

  • Anonymous

    How about they run the snowmobile registration Jan-Dec instead of July-June

  • Superuser23

    Dumb reason, if there is no snow, why the heck would I want to register my snowmobile? If I don’t have to pay for something to collect dust, I am not going to, this is like the gasoline stations asking us to buy fuel for our Motorcycles that we park in the winter time.

    • Anonymous

      Also, if they get a 10% cut, well Right! They are using a lot less fuel and fewer repairs if there’s no snow!

      • Superuser23

        Exactly, if there is no snow, there is no fuel needed to groom the trails, etc. I never hear many clubs doing other means of getting money like a fundraiser or two for example, Need to stop relying on the registration fees.

        • Anonymous

          And the clubs don’t have payments on $150,000 machines. Where does that money come from? Join a club. See the other side.

          • Superuser23

            If they have them kind of payments, then they need to find other means of getting money. It is like if I decide to buy a Cadillac and can’t afford the payments because I don’t make enough money, that’s not anyone else’s problem but my own, either I get it repossessed, or I find another way to make more money to pay it.,

        • Anonymous

          In the mid and late 70’s that is how clubs supported themselves. Then like so many other groups they found out how to tap the tax fairy.

        • Anonymous

          My club doesn’t even have enough people to have a monthly meeting.
          10 or 15 people at the most, and that includes the EMTs that we have on standby because everybody is so old.

    • Anonymous

      Although our bikes are registered , inspected and insured for the 6 months or so that they are off the roads !

      • Superuser23

        That’s another mess that needs to be cleaned up too. But at least a Motorcycle club is not asking for a higher rate on something to get a big cut on something.

  • Anonymous

    cheap date. it will be another reason Maine’s taxes are the highest?

  • Anonymous

    OMG….BS

  • Anonymous

    Maine is the least expensive state to register a sled. The groomer making you trails flat costs just as much as the groomer on the ski slope 150k for a new one. Where do you suppose the money comes from? It costs 200 dollars plus per day for grooming in fuel expense. Where do you suppose that comes from? The person driving the groomer does it for free. The person driving the groomer on the ski slope is getting paid. A ski pass at a major mountain goes for 70 dollars a day. Sleds cost 10 to 14k for a new one. 40 buck of gas in a day is the norm. So asking more than 40 dollars for an annual registration is too much? Give me a break. The people squawking the loudest over registration fees are the same ones that squawk over rough trails when they don’t get groomed.

    • Anonymous

      You Raise fees you will have less people registering sleds!!!

      • Anonymous

        I doubt that. An extra 20? Really? So how about we put our six figure grooming toys away and let the trails get rough for a season the way it used to be in the early seventies and see how many get out of sledding then.

        • Anonymous

          Your proposal might result in sledders going slower thereby making the trails safer.

    • Anonymous

      Raise ATV registration costs, make it a criminal offense to operate one without registration (to put it in line with snowmobile laws) and put serious effort into opening snowmobile trails year round as atv trails.

      • Anonymous

        No there are land owns that do not want avts on there land .Atvs half to be regesterd as a snowmobile if the go on snowmobile trails as long as they have tracks. If you go on lakes you do not need to reg it as a snowmobile

        • Anonymous

          If people in the positions able to do so made serious efforts into making a worthwhile summer time ATV trail network it would reinvigorate the summer economy the same way snowmobiling works for winter. Ask all the small towns that have made the effort to open up roads for ATV use to by pass landowners that don’t want the ATVs… Lots of riders are hitting small town businesses all summer.

          • Anonymous

            There are land owners that are dead set agence atv an nothing will change there mind

          • Anonymous

            There are ways around that as small towns in Maine have been finding out.

      • Anonymous

        I own and operate an atv solely as a tool on my own property. Absolutely no reason for me to spend money on registration to support trails I will never use. I’d sooner register my kayak used for fishing – at least I use resources associated with that activity. No one, imho, should have to pay “registration fees” for the operation of something they do not use if the climate doesn’t cooperate.

        • Anonymous

          If you are never leaving your property why are you registering it?

          • Anonymous

            I don’t register it. I was unclear on your comment above since you didn’t mention use of the vehicle on one’s own property. If you are talking solely registering for use around the state, I agree with you.

    • Anonymous

      If there’s not enough snow to groom, why would grooming costs be at issue? In the town where I live, the town bought a new groomer for our snowmobile club, via an expenditure from the general fund.
      I can’t agree with your comparison between a ski slope(usually for-profit) and a snowmobile club(almost always nonprofit).

      • Anonymous

        There is always snow somewhere in the state. Even as miserable as last year was, from Jackman to points north had plenty of riding and grooming. That’s the problem in a snowless year. People that see no snow in there yards think there is no riding in the state. There is always plenty of riding. Some towns elect to purchase there own grooming equipment. Most don’t. Most are owned privately or purchased with the aid of the municipal grant. No money is provided outside of the trail fund that is fueled by registration fees. If money was provided by the states general fund the liberals running this state would have a fit. No registration money, no grooming money. Simple fact.

        • Anonymous

          “If money was provided by the states general fund the liberals running this state would have a fit.” As a snowmobileatv, and general out of door enthusiast, LIBERAL and working tax-payer, I don’t at all mind my tax dollars going to help those less fortunate. You being the good conservative that you are, can spend the general fund on a hobby. “Less government, less spending” the conservative moto, but now the liberals won’t release general funds for your recreation. We need more conservatives like you……

    • Anonymous

      guess what, most Maine families can’t AFFORD to take their kids skiing! Let us have a little fun during these long winters. My teen nephew’s snowmobile is sitting in his yard because his family can’t swing what it costs now. That’s okay, he can sit and watch tv instead of being outside exploring the Maine woods.

      • Anonymous

        You don’t get it. The cost of registration is minor compared to the cost of fuel that will go through that sled.

        • you dont get it, if one has difficulty with expensive gas,”thanks to Obama”what makes you think is “minor”? liberals just trying to force everyone out of the fun. a good part of the reg money, along with hunting and fishing licenses, gets re-directed to general fund,to help support reprobates sucking up your tax dollars in the welfare handout line.no increases,

          • Anonymous

            My god man, get a life

          • Anonymous

            WRONG!

        • Rottiesbyus

          We get that it’s just everything together is just to much ur gonna drive outer stater to go other places like New Hampshire

        • Anonymous

          you don’t get it , my fuel cost is zero if there is no snow. I don’t go. enough with the increase in fee’s.use pot luck suppers , dances, donations.fishing derbys , radar runs..remember those , how about you raise your club fee’s ..why do you need $150.000 trail groomer? you realize we ALL used to groom trails with lesser equipment and it worked just fine. why do you need a heated cab when i used to do it with a twin-track and a manual drag for years. and that’s when it was colder -more snow and we had less suspension and gas hungry machines. if you get a increase I’m selling em off and parking em. enough is enough. I hear honda makes a good wheeler…

          • Anonymous

            That’s probably a good plan for you, then you can whine to the ATV clubs about how dusty and rough their trails are.

          • Anonymous

            brilliant, I was one of the ones who cared about the trails and groomed them for 5 years.. I never complain about how rough trails are.. they are just that …trails.. they have good days and bad days.. they don’t need to be as smooth as I95 and they certainly don’t need a expensive ski area style groomer just cause it makes the club look good.. and yes the trails are dusty and rough in the summer..but you know what? that’s what makes them fun..if I want smooth I go for a ride on the bike. we seem to be loosing what its about. and racing from destination to destination isn’t it.

          • I was thinking the same I remember those days

    • HalseyTaylor

      You are entirely right. People pay a bigger trail fee to ski for one day then snowmobile riders pay for the whole season. No snowmobile registration is required to ride on your own land. So the people complaining are the ones demanding that trails be groomed on land they don’t own!

    • Its time for the business that profit the most to pony up, instead of just putting out a penny jar (trail fund). You have motels, gas stations, sled sales/rentals, and much more that contribute very little to this recreational past time. All they would have to do is charge $1, 5, 10 or more depending on the business or sale.

  • Anonymous

    we are already fee`d to death.

  • Anonymous

    NO!!!

  • Anonymous

    I have two sleds that I have registered for the past three years and have put less than 50 miles per season on them. If the fee’s increase I will have 0 sleds.

    • Anonymous

      You should demand a refund. After all you didn’t recieve the service you paid for.

  • Anonymous

    yes, raise non-residents and,, every registration resident and non,,should have to join a club. jmo

    • Anonymous

      I agree with joining a club and paying dues. My whole family has always paid the dues to 2 area atvsnowmobile clubs, just to do our small part of paying for the great trails we take advantage of. BUT, if it was made mandatory to join the club, how high could the fees be allowed to rise?

      • Anonymous

        Agree. I’m a member of two clubs. Local and in the area i ride most. Should be mandatory.

        • Anonymous

          Morally, yes. Mandatory, no.

        • Anonymous

          should you be forced to join AAA when you register your car?

    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      “should have to join a club”

      Kind of like a union? Sledidarity! I don’t think so.

      • Anonymous

        lol,, don’t ride the groomed trails then..

      • Anonymous

        Rather ride on the backs of others, huh?

        • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

          It appears that you’re already riding on the backs of others, including mine, and I don’t even own a sled. According to the article, part of the state gas tax is funds grants that are used to groom trails.

          • Anonymous

            Thats the way it should be why should gas tax from sleds go to roads when sleds don’t go on roads ?

          • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

            That’s my point. How do you know how much gas tax revenue is going towards trail maintenance? Is this amount is greater than what was generated from gas used strictly in snowmobiles?

  • Anonymous

    The cost for every other recreational activity has gone up, not sure why snowmobiling should be any different. I also really doubt $20 would keep someone out of Maine for their vacation, and for the locals…a few less racks of beer is all it is.

    • Anonymous

      a few less racks of beer? Sad

      • Anonymous

        less tax money for the state

  • Anonymous

    Slippery slope. Next they will want to require non owners to pay a registration fee. After all, they might decide to buy a snowmobile if it snows.

  • Anonymous

    Why not? Every price everywhere is increasing; if people expect groomed trails then they should pay for them. The only problem that I see is ONLY charging the fee for late registration and NOT increasing more for non-residents than residents. If Mainers want a “snowmobile industry” so that they can profit from snowmobilers visiting the area, they should support it and not complain about a little $20 increase.
    Of course, it WOULD really help if the state had some sort of reminder system in place so that people THINK about registering before they’re looking at the snow. Another way in which the state government is totally lazy and ineffective, but citizens get punished for it.

    • John Spalding

      When is the nickel and dimeing going to stop!
      90K registered sleds @ $40 per = $3.6 MILINON DOLLARS! That’s a lot of gas and
      maintenance for 3 months of grooming!

      • reelmainer

        Unfortunately, the math is not that simple. If you do a little research you will find that of the $40 registration fee that we Mainers have to pay, only $20.25 actually goes to the snowmobile program. Your local town office gets to keep $6, the IF&W GENERAL FUND (not the State general fund mentioned in so many of the above comments) gets $8.75 and the fund for helping clubs buy grooming equipment, the capital equipment fund, gets the last $5. So your figure of $3.6 million just got cut in half. And, just because it doesn’t snow or the groomers are only used for “3 months”, the clubs still have to make their mortgage payments and insurance payments YEAR ROUND. Try making the payments on a $100,000+ groomer on what the State pays the clubs for their efforts. It ain’t easy and that’s why there is a need for more money. I belong to 4 different clubs and ride about 5000 miles per year (even last year with “NO snow” I got 3100 miles.) If you’re going to play you need to pay. It’s that simple. And by the way, the $20 late fee equates to 1/2 tank of gas on most modern sleds. If you can afford to ride at all this extra $20 represents almost nothing in the overall cost of owning/maintaining a sled in today’s world. Get over it and raise the fees!!

        • HalseyTaylor

          Well said. The registration fee is peanuts compared to the cost of owning and running a sled. $20 extra bucks year to the volunteers that groom the trails? Hard to argue against that.

        • Anonymous

          I choose to make payments on machines that “fit” my budget why is the club any different? why does the club have a $100.000 groomer? 15 years ago it was a $15,000 work sled .you made it how many years without it and now that you got it you can’t afford it.. its a slippery slope with these fee’s.. 20 bucks or not.. you guys need to bring your cost in line with your income.. period. just like everyone else in the real world..if your club cant afford a 100.000 + machine or isn’t given one . thats it..

          • Anonymous

            With a 10 to 15 week season, those groomers have to be tip top shape.
            It’s all well and good to work with older equipment when downtime isn’t a big factor, but if I lose only one week from a groomer schedule, that means a 10% reduction in money for the WHOLE season.
            And add to that, if there is nobody to work on them on a volunteer basis, that costs money out of pocket as well.

            Time to man up and start paying for the excellent trail systems in North and West Maine.

            20 big bucks?
            Most couples spend 12 bucks just to eat at MickyDs.

            A half gallon of good rotgut will set you back more than that.

          • Anonymous

            you loose a week to a groomer being down and you loose revenue? really ? also you guys keep saying 20 bucks.. its 20 per sled. so for a majority of us its a 40 or 60 or 80 dollar increase for our family to register our sleds and we haven’t even factored in the gas cost, truck registration, trailer registration.. oh and guess what.. the turnpike is more one way too.. you want smoother trails? donate to your club.. I’ve got enough to pay for ..

          • Anonymous

            Sorry you feel that way, but not surprising with your accompanying lack of math skills.

      • Anonymous

        Try it for three months, and you might be surprised where that great big pile of money goes.

        This year, my club will stop grooming ITS trails at about the 8 week mark due to lack of funding.
        We normally plan for 10 weeks.
        It costs us about $35K to maintain just under 100 miles of trail.
        Multiply that by 100 for the number of clubs that have major snow, and then add in how much the clubs in So. Maine take from the system to maintain thier tiny trails (with, of course, the highest # of volunteers).
        Do the math, and get back to me.

        • HalseyTaylor

          Perhaps you should stop grooming after week 4. Then folks would realize what a deal they are getting for $20. Never was so much owed by so many to so few. Well almost never…

  • Anonymous

    Big mistake Bob. I won’t be renewing my membership in the MSA.

  • Rottiesbyus

    I only have 1 thing to say cuz every 1 else has made all the good points i, its just another way for our big out of control government. To squeeze every penny we have yet to make

  • Anonymous

    Does any of the reg. money go towards the costs of searches?

  • iammjc123

    Why not figure some way to make the people that make the most profit,ie restaurant’s, hotel/motel’s and gas stations kick in some $$$.
    It seem’s like they are the only ones making any money from all of this.

  • The average working man cannot afford the registration increase, not let alone the gas and repairs of these machines to run, unless otherwise you owned your own business, these kind of people can afford new snowmobiles and to ride high on the hog.. The past 5-6 years people have not replaced there sleds .Same effect to volunteere for clubs, its costly just to run your pickup back and forth. One reason why I cannot afford it , we are just pushing people off the sled.

    • Anonymous

      If a $20. increase is going to break you then you probably are living on the edge of a fiscal cliff anyway !

  • maybe we could get some input from Walmart ???

  • We are encouraged to read that the Maine economy enables so many families to buy, transport and maintain a gas-guzzling recreational machine that costs between two and ten thousand dollars. Even if they quickly join the motorcycles and boats in the weeds in the front yard, they have done their part for the Maine economy.

    The humble Farmer

  • Anonymous

    According to president Obama now that the fiscal cliff is behind us the middle class should have plenty in their wallets. Registration should be uniform. If someone chooses not to register their vehicle for a period they should not be penalized. We do not know why that person chose not to register therefore when they do, they have paid their dues. If they haven’t registered then they are not getting the full enjoyment of their registration. If i am late with my auto registration i am not penalized and as long as i have not been operating outside of the law i should not be. Maybe some more of the revenue realized from the program should go into the program instead of being spent somewhere else.

  • Scott King

    I am an active member of a snowmobile club. I volunteer my time to clear the trails, put up signage, help put on public suppers, etc. If anyone thinks that mandating me to register my sled by a certain date is going to work…well, let’s just say that there will be two more sleds up for sale and I will cancel my membership in the club. I have better things to do with my time than to be a part of something else that others want mandated.

    If you snowmobile, then I feel you have a moral obligation to support your local club. However, it seems today there is no moral obligation anymore, everything is being mandated. If you don’t like something…have the gov. mandate that you do it or don’t do it. I have a novel idea…how about personal responsibility? You want to ride…volunteer some time with the local clubs and help them. I will fight any mandate or rise in registration costs, and will contact all my elected reps and everyone I know to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    • Anonymous

      If only it would work that way.
      Many of the people that come to North and West Maine are here on vacation, and I can’t really blame them for not wanting to put in a few hours of work as a volunteer.

      Some, not many, also add insult to injury when they complain that we aren’t out there 24/7 to give them their little bit of heaven on a flat trail.
      That heaven has a price, and this $20 increase will NOT even come close to bringing the much need dollars to continue to offer one of, if not the best riding experiences in North America.

      Time to man up all you flatlandahs and pay the clubs what you drive all those northbound miles for.

  • You are paying a road tax when you buy your fuel for your sled. Maybe the fuel bought for snowmobiles should have that road tax go to the trail fund. Problem solved!

  • Anonymous

    Last year, I think we had about 7″ of snow, in the mid coast area, I did not even start my machine since it was summerized…

  • Anonymous

    $20 ? What a joke.
    It’s time MSA was gutted of their South Maine leadership and realigned to more accurately reflect where the snowmobiling is taking place in North and West Maine.
    Bob Myers appears to be completely out of touch with the backbone of the industry which are the clubs that are keeping these trails open.
    The executive board had absolutely no problems increasing their take of the club membership dues a couple of years ago.
    Why haven’t there been legislative bills introduced to reflect the ever increasing cost of fuel, equipment, and the lack of volunteers?
    Volunteers?
    That’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” in a sea of white snow.
    The majority of volunteers don’t ride all that much because they are working their tail off to keep the trails open.
    If this industry is to stay afloat, a new association of trailgroomers MUST take over the responsibility of drafting budgets and legislation to fund the grooming operations.
    We’ve waited for you to do something, Bob.
    This may be too little to late.

  • Anonymous

    Ask your town clerk how many snowmobile registrations the town has done… Mine said very few… That means not all people register their machines… They are breaking the law, and making US pay the bill…

  • Anonymous

    If it so good for you…MANDATE it. They figured a way to “tax” salt water fishing and why not raise the fees/taxes for snowmobile registration. Next will be hunting licenses, fishing licenses, boat registrations, didn’t we already get a milfoil sticker “tax”? Raise everything, it is the new American way. The new norm.

  • Anonymous

    This Rick Levasseur is the same cat that supports miss Roxanne Quimby on her national park I dont ride your trails so take a hike pal im sure you Rick would help me pay for some of my hobbies too……. yeah rite I know your kind way too well call Quimby maybe she will help your club out !

  • HalseyTaylor

    I’m amused at the number of posts claiming an extra $20 a year, paid to the volunteer-run clubs that maintain the trails, will cause them to quit sledding. But when super-unleaded hit $4.50 per gallon they had no problem paying that increase to the giant multi-billion dollar oil companies. If the $20 is that big of a deal, just ride on your own land and you don’t need to register.

  • Anonymous

    From the vote results here, a lot of people would be “annoyed” by a registration rate hike as Rick LeVasseur noted in the article. LeVasseur calls the proposal a “band aid.” What do he and others who don’t want an increase suggest for a real solution?
    Snowmobile clubs and their working members bear the responsibility for keeping trails open and in good shape. It takes equipment and many man-hours to do this. Physical adjustments, relocations and repairs have a cost in materials. In fairness, all snowmobile riders should support trail work.

  • boww8t

    I don’t like the idea of the gooberment getting the extra monies, just mandate
    that you join a local club where you ride, pay the club the $20 bucks and the
    club gets the $$ and not politicians, because if they, the self servicing A Ho’s
    do clubs will only get a smaller portion :-/

    $350
    million industry and the clubs only get $4 million and the work is
    all volunteers
    !!!! this don’t compute…

  • My husband and I, agree with those apposed to increasing the registration fee and impossing a deadline to register by each year. We are not going to be mandated to regisiter a recreational vehicle that may or maynot be used due to weather conditions.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah you could bet Mr Rick Levasseur would part with some of his money to help others with different interest then his own they got streets name after him they’re called one way after all the support you have been for Miss Quimby and her national park, time to call on her maybe she will help you out oh wait she realized you got nothing for her to promote her park !

  • Workinghard

    I am not in favor of this at all. And for those trying to sell snowmobiling as a cheap date, get real. Average families can’t afford to buy and run these sleds for a few weeks of “fun.” The last time we ran sleds, we spent a week’s paycheck in one day, just in gas for two sleds. Between the cost and the danger, thanks, but no thanks. I will take a walk to enjoy the Maine outdoors.

  • Ed Diver

    Has there been any thought about the gas tax at the pumps that the snow sledder’s pay that go into maintaining roads? For off road equipment that use diesel you can buy off road fuel, why couldn’t the fuel usage by snowmobiles be credited to the trail systems? Perhaps this already occurs……

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