Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013
New Fee for ATV Owners Coming Soon
HERRIN -- ATV owners will have to pay more money to ride next year. A $15 state registration fee will take effect as early as April 1. Officials say the money will go toward maintaining off-road trails, but ATV riders and sellers are skeptical.
Illinois lawmakers passed a package last November to help fund the Department of Natural Resources. It includes a $2 increase for license plate renewals and this new ATV fee.
Brad Young, co-owner of Good Guys Motorsports in Herrin, spends his free time riding. He has doubts about the new sticker fee.
"Our primary concern, is we're not sure where that money is going to go," said Young.
He says the state doesn't offer many places riders can take their ATVs in southern Illinois. He would welcome any new developments in the area.
"There are sanctioned off-road riding areas, but most of the Department of Natural Resources land is off-limits to ATV use," Young explained.
Officials expect the fee to raise $800,000 for state parks every year and insist the money will go to improve ATV access for riders and law enforcement.
"Our clients, in many cases in the outdoors, are in remote areas. You need the proper equipment to get to those remote areas in order to provide public safety," said IDNR Spokesperson Chris McCloud.
McCloud says not every ATV will need a sticker. Businesses and local government vehicles will be exempt. So will golf courses with a fleet of carts. ATVs used on the driver's land that he or she lives on-- are exempt as well.
"If you lived in one residence but then owned land somewhere else and you used it on that land, that would not exempt you," McCloud said.
The exact details of the new $15 sticker are still being discussed. A committee is meeting next month to solidify the plan. The soonest the fee could be required is April of next year.
Wind: 7 MPH
Humidity: 68 %