Fee free to steal this graphic and use it for your own STOP SB117 campaign

The State of Nevada wants you to pay
to register your ATV or other
off-road vehicle with
the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, introduced SB117, which would require all motorized off-road vehicles to register with the Department of Motor Vehicles. "
-Nevada Appeal, 14 February 2003

In an effort to raise money for the state, Fallon's Senator Mike McGinness has introduced SB117, requiring ATV's and other off-road vehicles- including hovercraft- to be registered with the DMV.

One

DMV registration is for automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and vehicles that use the ROADS. Not Off Highway Vehicles. Registration fees go towards road-related expenses, such as

  • state highway improvements
  • the operating budget of the DMV
  • the operating budget of the Nevada Highway Patrol
  • a number of other specific programs.
  • road construction in those counties (Clark, Churchill, and Washoe) where it has been approved by a vote of the public.

You would get little for your ORV (off-road vehicle) registration except a reminder to pay it again next year.

A February 19 Lahontan Valley News article said, "The senator may change his proposal to steer some funds toward programs to promote and develop trail systems, saying such a system could boost tourism in the state.." Develop trail systems? Has Senator Mike ever swung a leg over an ATV in Nevada? I happen to know for a fact that a person couldn't ride all the trails in his county during a lifetime.

In addition, many- if not most- people ride on Federal lands. Nevada, as you are aware, is mostly owned by the Feds. State monies would not be provided for improvements on Federal lands. So most people would not benefit at all. Well I take that back- they get a shiny new license plate- woo hoo!

Who would enforce this law? Would State Troopers be told to check out trailers, peek under tarps, go into garages? Would they ride ATV's in the desert hoping to catch someone with an unregistred ATV? The whole thing is just stupid.

Two

Early in the Appeal article, McGinness claims that "...a large number of people are going out of state to buy these kinds of vehicles..." in an effort to escape paying sales tax. Later in the article, however, he claims that he has no estimate of how many vehicles would be forced to register, or how much money it would raise for the state.

So, with almost no research at all except, apparently, a 'gut feeling," Senator McGinness wants to slap another tax on you, just to see what will happen. It doesn't matter to him if you paid the sales tax or not.

I called Michael's Cycles in Carson City and they couldn't give me a figure of how many people buy out of state and don't pay sales tax. Not even an estimate.

I called a dealer in California and they couldn't give me a figure, either- because it was so small.

This bill was basically given to Senator McGinnis by a Fallon ATV dealer, Neal A. Grasteit's Preferred Motors & Marine. In a letter dated January 28, 2003, Grasteit tells his fellow dealers the following:

Dear Dealers,

Enclosed for your review is a copy of the bill that will be introduced for the upcoming legislative session. We are sending you a copy so that you can review the bill and send back any suggestions or comments so that if any modifications need to be made that we will have sufficient time to make any changes. As you are already aware the issue of losing sales to out of state purchases is becoming an ever increasing problem. We as dealers are constantly losing sales to customers going out of state to purchase ATV's so that when they return to Nevada they don't pay the sales tax. The state of Nevada is already losing the revenue from sales tax and now the governor of our great state is having to make changes to help boost our state revenue by increasing taxes. We have to help ourselves as dealers and our state by making this initiative a new law that will benefit everybody. Either fax or call with your comments or suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you soon on this issue.

Sincerely,

Neal A. Grasteit

So, if you wind up paying additional taxes on your ATV, you can thank Mr. Grasteit. Of Fallon's Preferred Motors and Marine. Who's not making enough money.

Three

Assuming that there might be a significant number of scofflaws avoiding paying the sales tax, why do all ORV (off-road vehicle) owners have to register? Why not just go after the ones that don't pay? This is just another government solution in search of a problem. I mean, hovercraft? How much of a problem is this?

As of 11 April my 20 February fax to the Department of Taxation requesting details on what items bought out-of-state require taxes paid in Nevada and the procedures for doing so remains unanswered. I guess they're not that hard up for the money.

UPDATE: July 10, 2003. Well, I guess almost five months isn't too long to wait for a response. Basically, it goes like this:

NRS 372.185 Imposition and rate. 1. An excise tax is hereby imposed on the storage, use or other consumption in this state of tangible personal property purchased from any retailer on or after July 1, 1955, for storage, use or other consumption in this state at the rate of 2 percent of the sales price of the property. 2. The tax is imposed with respect to all property which was acquired out of state in a transaction that would have been a taxable sale if it had occurred within this state. [34:397:1955]-(Amended in 1986. Proposed by the 1985 Legislature; adopted by the people at the 1986 general election, effective January 1, 1987. See Statutes of Nevada 1985, p. 1563.)

So there you have it. They request that you submit, in letter form, details of your out-of-state purchase, calculate the payment, and send it in with a check.

Boy, I'll bet that is a quiet department to work in.

Four

Besides providing no benefit to OHV owners, mandatory registration opens the door to other things like mandatory licensing [ka-CHING] mandatory insurance [ka-CHING] and the various mandatory permits [ka-CHING] and mandatory regulation [ka-CHING] that we can all live without quite nicely, thank you for asking but NO THANKS.

Five

Make an informed decision. Read the bill. Then, get off your butt and tell your legislators that this sucks. How? It's easy.

Find them

Find your State Assemblyman and State Senator using the State Lookup Tool here.

Get their address

Look up your Senator's address here. Look up your Assemblyman's address here.

Write them

Email Write. Fax. Telephone. Let them know you think this is a bad, bad idea. Here is a sample letter if you are letter-writing impaired:

Dear [name]

I am writing to you regarding SB117, Senator McGinness's bill to require DMV registration of Off Road Vehicles.

I think it's unfair to punish all ORV owners in an attempt to collect taxes supposedly owed by a few. I also think it's unfair to saddle me with a yearly DMV tax payment for a vehicle I never operate on a city street, county road, or state highway.

Please defeat this bill when it comes before you.

Sincerely,

[your name]
[your address]
[your telephone]

Do it now. Your failure to act will be viewed as approval, or apathy- both of which count the same. Now. Stop reading this. Do it. You're still reading, I can't believe it. Go! Write! Now!

 

UPDATE

7 March 2003 - What the Associated Press called "an room full of angry off-road enthusiasts" greeted Senator Mike McGinness yesterday in the Transportation Committee. No action was taken on SB117 other than to "refer it to a subcommittee" who will work hard, no doubt, to make it more palatable. Already, ATVer's are sniffing the wind and making conciliatory noises like, "...it's a solid building block for acceptable legislation..." This is how the system works, folks, begin with something totally unfair and unworkable, "compromise" a bit, and we end up getting taxed anyway. "Trail system development, maintenance, and mapping" my ass.

3 April 2003

Here is a list of people who either suported or opposed SB 117 in the March 13 hearing:

For It
Against It
Against It In Current Form
JOHN GLENN, OWNER, PERFORMANCE YAMAHA OF ELKO, NEVADA DARYL E. FOLKS, BUSINESS OWNER, KTM/ARCTIC CAT LAS VEGAS AND SPORTSMAN CYCLE SALES MIKE MARTSOLF, PRESIDENT, NEVADA UNITED 4 WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION
NEAL GRASTEIT, OWNER, PREFERRED MOTORS AND MARINE OF FALLON, NV J.C. MARTINEZ, PRESIDENT, MOTORCYCLE RACING ASSOCIATION OF NEVADA GARY CLINARD, PRESIDENT, DUNES AND TRAILS ATV CLUB
  JOSH WILSON, LOBBYIST, MOTORCYCLE RACING ASSOCIATION OF NEVADA: TOM R. SKANCKE, LOBBYIST, MOTORCYCLE RACING ASSOCIATION OF NEVADA, BEST IN THE DESERT RACING ASSOCIATION,
TRAILBLAZERS MOTORCYCLE CLUB, NEVADA SUZUKI, SPORTSMAN CYCLE SALES, KTM/ARCTIC CAT LAS VEGAS, TEAM LOOMIS OFF
HIGHWAY TRAINING AND RACING:


Daryl Folks had a great idea- why not exempt ATV's from sales tax? I'm sure that went over really well. The State of Nevada is not going to turn it's nose up at some extra revenue- especially when it can create a new tax instead of tightening its own belt.

This bill is not dead- it's only sleeping.

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