A bill in the legislature requires all snowmobiles to display a trail-use sticker.

The Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs says trail maintenance costs have gone up significantly over the past decade, while registration fees have not.

Under legislation (SB-406) being considered at the state capitol, snowmobilers are encouraged to join clubs. The annual $20 membership fee is credited toward their trail fee. Critics, including Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn), complain that non members would pay 20 bucks a sled more to use the trails.

Kedzie is opposed to mandatory tax or fee increases, he says, especially during this recession. Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) says a family with five sleds would be penalized 100 bucks.

Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Milwaukee), who loves boating and snowmobiling, says they are expensive toys. He says there’s no hardship when a family with $20,000 worth of toys has to pay a few extra bucks for a trail sticker.

Committee Chair Jim Holperin (D-Conover) says, if given the choice, snowmobilers would rather pay a higher trail fee for grooming and maintenance than have fewer miles on which to ride.

Among other things, the bill also addresses snowmobile registration, intoxicated snowmobiling, and night time snowmobile speed limits.

NOTE: The Senate Committee on Transportation, Tourism, Forestry, and Natural Resources last week recommended the bill for passage.

Jackie Johnson report 1:50


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