HOUSE BILL 53
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
Mark Duncan and Harlan Vincent
RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES; REQUIRING THE MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION OF THE TAXATION AND REVENUE DEPARTMENT TO APPLY FOR A LICENSE TO USE THE SMOKEY BEAR IMAGE AND NAME; PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A SMOKEY BEAR FIRE PREVENTION SPECIAL REGISTRATION PLATE; PROVIDING FOR CESSATION OF ISSUANCE BASED ON NEW ISSUANCE AND RENEWALS; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Motor Vehicle Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SPECIAL SMOKEY BEAR FIRE PREVENTION REGISTRATION PLATE.--
A. The division shall apply for a long-term license from the United States department of agriculture forest service to use the image and name of Smokey Bear on a standardized special registration plate to raise fire prevention awareness and to raise money for state forest fire prevention efforts.
B. Upon finalizing a license agreement pursuant to Subsection A of this section, the division shall issue a standardized Smokey Bear fire prevention special registration plate with a logo designed pursuant to Section 66-3-424 NMSA 1978 indicating that the recipient supports forest fire prevention awareness.
C. For an initial fee of fifty dollars ($50.00), which shall be in addition to the regular motor vehicle registration fees, the owner of a vehicle may apply for issuance of a Smokey Bear fire prevention awareness special registration plate. The vehicle owner shall pay a renewal fee of forty dollars ($40.00) each year to retain and renew the Smokey Bear forest fire prevention special registration plate.
D. After payment for any licensing fee required for the use of the Smokey Bear name or image, the revenue from the additional fee for a Smokey Bear fire prevention special registration plate shall be distributed as follows:
(1) twelve dollars ($12.00) of the initial fee collected shall be retained by and is appropriated to the department to defray the cost of making and issuing the special registration plate with the Smokey Bear logo; and
(2) the remaining portion of the initial registration fee and the entire portion of subsequent renewal fees remaining after payment of licensing fees shall be distributed to the energy, minerals and natural resources department for forest fire prevention.
E. Beginning on July 1, 2027, and on July 1 of each subsequent year, the department shall compare the number of the Smokey Bear fire prevention special registration plates issued, or registration renewals for those plates in the previous fiscal year, with the average of the number of such plates issued in fiscal years 2025 and 2026.
F. By September 1 of a fiscal year in which the department determines that the number of Smokey Bear fire prevention special registration plates issued and registration renewals for those plates in the previous fiscal year is less than fifty percent of the average number of such plates issued in fiscal years 2025 and 2026, the department shall stop issuing Smokey Bear fire prevention special registration plates."
SECTION 2. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2024.
- 3 -