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Saskatchewan carriers facing increase in registration costs

REGINA, Sask. -- The cost of registering heavy-duty commercial vehicles in Saskatchewan is about to increase substa...

REGINA, Sask. — The cost of registering heavy-duty commercial vehicles in Saskatchewan is about to increase substantially.

The province of Saskatchewan is hiking vehicle registration fees for most motorists, but commercial carriers will be hit the hardest. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) says the average five per cent increase is aimed at helping offset the cost of fixing the province’s highways.

Commercial truck registrations are expected to increase between five and 30 per cent for about 8,000 units in the province. About 250 heavy-duty trucks will be less expensive to register, by about three per cent.

Mary Sonntag, the minister responsible for SGI, said the five per cent increase is the first in 10 years.

“A five-per-cent increase over 10-11 years, I think, is not significant,” she told local media.

Farmers who previously didn’t have to register their trailers will now be required to do so under the changes. Under the new rules, all heavy farm trailers over 4,600-kg must now be registered while previously only semi trailers and gooseneck farm trailers required registration.

The registration hikes are slated to take effect July 1. Meanwhile, as of July 1, 2005, the Class A and D heavy vehicle categories will be amalgamated in an attempt to simplify the registration process.

The Saskatchewan Party immediately condemned the registration increases.

“This government is so desperate for cash that they’re prepared to look at any and every opportunity to generate new revenue,” Saskatchewan Party MLA Wayne Elhard told local media. “The $300 million roughly that the government allocates to highways is an appropriate amount,” he added.

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