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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — While many U.S. troops stationed overseas are thinking about their state and federal taxes, those living and owning vehicles in Japan have one more thing to take care of: annual road taxes.

The road taxes, mandated by Japanese law and based on vehicle engine size, are collected at U.S. military installations across Japan about this time each year.

Master Sgt. Bernard McCaw, the security forces pass and registration noncommissioned officer in charge here, said the goal is to create an easy, single-stop procedure for drivers who register their vehicles on Misawa.

Japanese tax officials come to U.S. bases, and personnel walk through a series of stations. They start on one end with the required paperwork (see box) and money and come out on the other end with a new road tax decal for their cars.

"It’s a huge convenience for us," McCaw said, because the thousands of troops with cars registered in Japan won’t have to travel to tax offices.

And those who are deployed, on vacation or on temporary duty from Misawa when tax time comes can ask a friend or co-worker to pay the taxes, McCaw said, adding that no power of attorney would be required. That’s not the case at all bases, however, so vehicle owners elsewhere need to check with their own installations, he said.

People also can choose to pay their fees at a Japanese tax office, post office or some convenience stores, but they still must get a new windshield decal from the base.

McCaw said he appreciates the help of the 200-plus volunteers at Misawa who help "5,000 registered vehicle owners" here work through the process in five days.

"It is a community effort," he said. "Everyone’s pitching in both on the U.S. and Japanese side."

Japan 2010 Road TaxesHow much?Road taxes can be determined by the number shown on the top of each vehicle’s license plate, which identifies the vehicle’s engine size.

While anyone can pay road tax for deployed or absent vehicle owners, a power of attorney may be required to obtain a base decal for anyone other than a spouse.

For information, contact the local vehicle registration office.

Various plates and taxes:

44Y, 400Y; 56Y, 57Y, 58Y, 500Y, 529Y plates: 7,500 yen.33Y, 300Y, 329Y plates; 4.5 liter and lower: 19,000 yen. 4.6 liter and above: 22,000 yen.11Y, 100Y plates: 32,000 yen.Road tax for mini-cars and motorcycles:

Payments accepted on some bases, but not others; must be paid beginning in April.

Mini-cars: 3,000 yen.Motorcycles up to 125cc: 500 yen. 126cc and above: 1,000 yen.What to bringDrivers should bring these items when paying road tax at their base:

Base driver’s licenseLiability insuranceJapanese Compulsory InsuranceCurrent base vehicle inspectionJapanese vehicle titleMilitary vehicle registrationCertificate of title of motor vehicle (DD Form 430)SOFA ID cardParking certificate, if applicableA new base decal is issued at the end of the tax-paying procedure when road tax is paid on a U.S. installation.

When to payCamp Zama: March 16-19, staggered based on last name, from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Community Center. March 16: Drivers with last names starting with A-E; March 17, F-K; March 19, L-R; March 19, S-Z. Motorcycle and mini-car taxes can be paid on April 23. Call DSN 263-4337.

Yokosuka Naval Base: March 23, 25, 26 and April 12-13 at Fleet Theater from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2:30 p.m. Road tax collections will also be held in Negishi April 15 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Building 19045 in the MWR classroom. Call 243-5011/5896.

Naval Air Facility Atsugi: April 6-9 at Skymaster Building 1342 on the second floor from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. Motorcycle and mini-car road taxes will be collected April 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:15 p.m. Call 264-3627.

Yokota Air Base: April 13-16 at the Yujo Community Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 225-7510.

Misawa Air Base: April 19-23, staggered based on last name, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Mokuteki Community Center. April 19: Drivers with last names starting with A-E; April 20, F-L; April 21, M-S; April 22, T-Z; April 23, make-up day for anyone who missed their scheduled day.

Sasebo Naval Base: TBD

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni: TBD

Camp Fuji: All fees collected.

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