500% late fee for Montana aircraft registration

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Ace66, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Ace66

    Ace66 Filing Flight Plan

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    So I'm 7 days late paying my $75 MT aircraft registration and got whacked with a $375 late fee. Yes that's a 500% late fee for 7 days late. Anyone able to fight this? Is there a group trying to fix this injustice?

    I did find a statute (15-1-216) that says "A person who fails to file a required tax return or other report with the department by the due date of the return or report...a late payment penalty of 0.5% a month on the unpaid tax. The penalty may not exceed 12% of the tax due"

    I interpret "or other report" to include aircraft registration tax. This would cap the late fee at 12%.

    Unbelievable.
     
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  2. Landing Fees

    Landing Fees Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Might be cheaper to rent a Uhaul and move out of state. That stinks.
     
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  3. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    I don't get it. Is it a yearly tax? 5% of $75 is $3.75
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  4. retpd2001

    retpd2001 Line Up and Wait

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    Did you call them? Maybe it is an error.
     
  5. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    yup. ask them for the supporting law that permits that level of fine. otherwise calculate the fee according to statute and send 'em a check.
     
  6. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I would call. It can't hurt. Seems kinda unconstitutional, excessive fines.

    The Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

    Seriously.

    SCOTUS just ruled on an 8th amendment issue. Found the state to be in the wrong.
     
  7. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I would definitely mention the statute to them. You should also mention the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution and that on February 20, 2019, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Timbs v. Indiana that the Excessive Fines Clause also applies to the states.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  8. Ace66

    Ace66 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes I called them and they said it can't be waived. It's printed on the renewal form, "5 times the fee plus the fee". Hoping to hear from any Montana pilots out there....
     
  9. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Darn well teach ya to not be late next time, won't it.??
     
  10. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    It may be printed on the form but it still seems to violate the Montana statute and the 8th Amendment. I don't know if you can sue the State in small claims court but I doubt it. It'll cost you more than $375 to fight it. :(

    A quick Google shows this: "Montana Law also has a mandatory Pilot Registration (MCA, Title 67-3-21, Chapter 3, Part 2), the annual fee is $10.00 (this includes a subscription to our monthly newsletter and 1 airport directory). You can call and request a current form at (406) 444-2506 or e-mail ptrooien@mt.gov."

    And this: "67-3-212. Flight plan required. (1) The pilot of each flight carrying passengers and originating at a Montana public airport and to be flown under visual flight rules over a distance greater than 250 nautical miles is required to file a flight plan with the federal aviation administration."

    Seriously? This kind of stuff drive me nuts. Government run amok.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  11. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like they get away with it because no one has challenged it.
    That would probably mean (quite properly) lawyer consultation fees and possibly, time away from work...maybe in court.
    Much more than their late fee.
    So they will continue to get away with it.

    This is not something the state has contracted out to a third party, is it?
     
  12. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Ha they expect us to navigate state laws while planning flight ... nice. I suggest they put this garbage in NOTAM
     
  13. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    Someone/thing needs reigned in. POA nominates the OP as the duly appointed reigner-inner.
     
  14. Ace66

    Ace66 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yea, right! Donations please!

    Does anyone have an AOPA contact to help combat this BS? And where's the Montana Pilot's Association?

    67-3-212 sounds like a clear overreach into FAA territory that they don't have jurisdiction over.
     
  15. Bell206

    Bell206 Cleared for Takeoff

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    It has nothing to do with aviation. It's a state property tax. As you stated, "It's printed on the renewal form, '5 times the fee plus the fee'." If you're late paying any tax there are penalties and interest. I had to pay tax on any registered aircraft domiciled in my home state. Next time don't be late. ;)
     
  16. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    I guess those are the consequences when you live in a tax haven for big boys and their toys. MT is one of the only states I know of where you can form an LLC and only pay a $75 - $125 fee to license or register a $10M airplane or a $2M RV. Never mind the many thousands of $$$ you avoid in paying sales taxes on any of those purchases.
     
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  17. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    My only suggestion here is to pay it now and fight to get it back... property tax arguments never end well for the property owner if they don't cover the in initial error..

    My only other question, how long was the bill sitting on your desk? Anything that involves the government, property taxes, vehicle registrations etc.... I pay those the same day I get them... income taxes, screw em... they can wait until April 13th for me to cut the check
     
  18. Ace66

    Ace66 Filing Flight Plan

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    Well no duh, dude. My argument is in the exorbitant 500% penalty. Not even their late fee for state income tax is that high. Anyways, I asked for input from MT guys about this issue. Your condescending post doesn't help.
     
  19. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    IL has a registration fee too. Anyone else wonder how states can justify having aircraft registration when airplanes are federally regulated? You don’t have to register your car with your state AND the Feds.
     
  20. DesertNomad

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    Rhode Island has a registration too.
     
  21. Bell206

    Bell206 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well, the penalty in my state is based on the value of the aircraft. So $375 or 500% would be a blessing. To each their own.:rolleyes:
     
  22. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A possible argument: "Mr. Montana, as a comparison, please tell the court what the fee is for being one week late to register other vehicles in the state, such as a.....car? A truck? A boat?"
     
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  23. aggie06

    aggie06 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What is the statute that limits the penalty? Be careful you’re not reading a section out of context. For example, if the statute you cite is in the income/franchise subpart of their code, but this is an administrative fee under another section, the 12% limitation may not apply.
     
  24. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    Just make sure you file flight plans for anything over 250 miles.
     
  25. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Hasn’t Montana contracted out the registration to a private company? If so, the $375 fee covers the annual cost / the number of violators for the staff required to collect delinquent payments.
     
  26. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Ten months late is $37.50 in my math.
     
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  27. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    Until I read this thread, I believed that Montana was a free state. Oh, well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  28. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Mass. Has a yearly registration fee,goes by gross weight.
     
  29. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You damn evil one percenters with your airplanes trying to get out of paying your “fair share” lol, only thing worse is those tin foil hat types talking about fringe stuff like that “constitution”

    Without those fees what would happen to the roads and the children!

     
  30. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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  31. MajorTurbulence

    MajorTurbulence Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Connecticut has something similar. For many of us flying is a hobby and paying this fee, which did not exist a number of years ago, has gotten progressively a PIA as the states have gotten greedier and less flexible. When I was late a couple years back, the excessive penalty was reduced by a phone call and prompt payment was made. I don’t mess around anymore.
     
  32. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Same in ND
     
  33. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Copy/call your State reps, and county ones, too, if you have them. IF IF IF you are registered to vote, and have voted, you might get a listen. If not, they won't t be interested. Don't know MT, but most states don't have a revenue problem, just spending problems. . .they'll divide and conquer, and smaller communities, like pilots, are targets; perceived as having money, and not a base that is a problem to offend.

    My experience with elected wonks is that they roughly fall into a couple categories - control freaks who know what's best for everyone else (left and right); narcissists with no particular compass except re-election, and do-gooders who sometimes know what they're talking about - and sometimes don't.

    They all pretty much are OK with buying votes with "programs". You can rattle cages a bit - FOIA/your states sunshine laws; do one asking for the salaries of everyone in that department (after you pay!) - it's not PII, and they'll probably have to comply - they don't have to tell you the deductions, or elections, or garnishments, etc. - but most courts say they have to disclose compnesation; since the money comes from the taxpayers, the public has a right to know. From experience, ask for the total compensation amount - most state and local HR depts are clever enough to exclude items for more senior folks, by not calling it "salary", but it shows on a W2 as cash income - additional bucks for cars, additional "retirement" that is paid direct to the employee, other cash benes.

    Not a lot of effort, but annoys the heck out of 'em, having been on the gov't side myself. . .
     
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  34. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup, like ALEC where government workers are straight up paid to pass "laws" for lobby




    And when you call those government "public servants" up, remember




    Only way they change their tune is if they are caught in a manner that they think their gravy train is going to stop, and that only stops them till they think folks forgot about their last transgression taken against the public
     
  35. 5QK

    5QK Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As a MT resident, my 42 year old C182Q costs 20 bucks a year to register. You have 4 months to get it done. Dont be late or add another 325 dollars.
     
  36. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is like a little kid saying
    "Its not that bad, I just give the big kid my candy bar, as long as I do that he doesnt steal the rest of my lunch or beat me up"
     
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  37. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    This weakens the OP's position just a little. I think it's funny so many have chimed in with "you wus robbed".
     
  38. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    It is unfair, period.

    What if your mortgage company decides they want to charge 500% late fee on a $1200 monthly payment?

    Fair?

    Any predatory practice, if exposed, should be dealt with.
     
  39. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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    Until that happens, I recommend all Montana aircraft owners pay their registration fee on time. :D :D
     
  40. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Yep, unlikely to get the money back, as sleazy as the practice is. . .getting in their knickers, giving them some heartburn, might give some slight satisfaction.