(DES MOINES) The State of Iowa has been cracking down on residents who have been evading paying vehicle registration fees by registering their vehicles in the State of Montana, which does not charge sales tax.
The DOT’s Major Paul Steier says investigators have spotted the vehicles at football games and the State Fair and has recovered about a million dollars in un-paid fees, money that should have been going into Iowa’s Road Use Tax Fund. A law change went into effect July 1st to encourage more compliance, prompting many to come forward to make amends.
“We’ve had people come to our County Treasurer offices that register vehicles and ask them ‘Can you help me get this taken care of’ and that’s what we want, we want compliance,” said Steier. “The purpose of that legislation wasn’t so we could go and file charges against people, it was so people will see that it is serious and that they do need to comply and that practice that they thought maybe was acceptable really isn’t.”
Registering out of state vehicles has been big business for some Montana law firms which advertise across the country the so-called tax saving opportunity. Steir says those days are coming to an end, however, as states are rapidly putting a stop to the practice.
Most of the Iowa owned vehicles that have Montana plates tend to be the larger, luxury RV’s, campers and collector cars.
Iowa Radio Network