Michigan raises snowmobile fees to avoid deficit

Under bills sent to Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, snowmobilers will have to pay higher fees starting next year to avoid a deficit in the state’s snowmobiling budget, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The state Senate has approved the fees to raise more money to maintain and improve grooming on snowmobile trails.

The state snowmobile program faces a $1 million deficit next year. The fees would go from $25 to $35 for the2009-2010 year. Then the fees would increase again in 2011 through 2015 to $45. Future increases would be tied to the inflation rate.

The three-year snowmobile registration fee would rise from $22 to $30, and the fine for operating a snowmobile without registration would quadruple to $200 on July 1. Some of that money would go toward expanding and protecting snowmobile trails.

The governor’s office has not indicated whether she will sign the bills.

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