The Cost of Motorcycle Tags Is Going Up!

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Riding may not be that easy anymore for motorcycle riders in Mississippi. The Mississippi Legislature has changed the way the price of a motorcycle tag is assessed.

Lauderdale County Tax Collector Stanley Shannon says in the past the price of a license plate was based on the size of the cycle's engine, regardless of the value of the bike. That has now changed. The price of tags is now based on the assessed value of the motorcycle, the cost of some licenses plates has tripled.

"We had one lady in here Wednesday. Last year her tags were around three hundred, this year it was up over nine hundred dollars. She said she's going to put her bike on eBay and sell it," said Shannon.

That change has many motorcycle riders confused and feeling the pinch. Tags are now based on ad valorem or of value taxes, the same as your car or your home.

Meurice LeFevre of Chunky-River Harley Davidson says the change came without warning, and he says its one that's not fair to all the motorcycle owners in Mississippi.

"The taxes were reasonable, you get tremendous fuel mileage, you're not spewing emissions or tearing up the highways. It's really good for the state and yet it looks like we've got about a 300 percent increase in our ad valorem taxes," said LeFevre.

"I went from, you know, around $300 for a motorcycle tag to now around $640, so it more than doubled," said motorcycle owner Jamie Nance.

Legislation has been proposed that would lessen the burden on motorcycle riders, but many say they're not optimistic.