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Tomoko Shimozono, an employee at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Vehicle Registration Office, assists a customer. The office will start facilitating 2006 Road Tax payments this Thursday and Friday and again Apr. 5-7. Taxpayers first will pay at the base’s Fleet Theater, then pick up a decal across the street at the VRO.

Tomoko Shimozono, an employee at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Vehicle Registration Office, assists a customer. The office will start facilitating 2006 Road Tax payments this Thursday and Friday and again Apr. 5-7. Taxpayers first will pay at the base’s Fleet Theater, then pick up a decal across the street at the VRO. (Allison Batdorff / S&S)

The good news is the rates haven’t gone up in two years.

The bad news, as seasoned drivers know, is it’s spring in Japan — road tax season, when vehicle owners try to remember their engine size and fork over piles of yen.

Road tax pays for the upkeep of roads in Japan and is mandatory for foreigners and Japanese alike and a tax payment receipt is required to get a new base decal. Anyone with a vehicle that is not de-registered by April 1 must pay.

Many installations will offer tax collection sites on base, but vehicle owners also can pay in several off-base locations, including municipal offices and some banks and post offices. The payments, on base or off, must be made in yen.

Most regular car owners will pay 7,500 yen, about $66. Depending on the engine size, the rates can be higher — up to 32,000 yen, or about $280. The rates haven’t changed, so last year’s receipt can tell you what to pay. And engine sizes are shown on white license plates — it’s the small number at the top of the plate, next to the kanji letters. Yellow plates indicate minicars.

People can pay the tax for another person’s vehicle — if the owner is deployed, for example — without a power of attorney. Regardless of where the tax is paid, owners must have paid their tax and received their base decals before June 1.

When paying the tax, bring yen as well as:

Japanese title.Proof of Property Damage Insurance, sometimes called American insurance.Proof of Japanese Compulsory Insurance (JCI).Road tax payment receipt from last year (2005).Military registration: DD Form 430 or AJ Form 2412.Where to go to pay road tax:Yokosuka Naval Base: Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; April 5-7 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Payments will be taken at the Fleet Theater and decals issued across the street at the Vehicle Registration Office.Motorcycle and minicar owners must pay at Yokosuka City Hall.Negishi Housing residents: April 25 and 26 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Tax payments will be accepted at Negishi’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Classroom (Building 19045).If you can’t make those times, the Yokosuka city tax office will accept payments after April 1.Negishi motorcycle and minicar drivers can pay at either Yokosuka City Hall or Naka Ward Office, depending on the place of registration.Sasebo Naval Base: April 18-20 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tax payments accepted in the Security Training Building, No. 340, behind the main security building, or they can be paid off base at the Northern District Promotion Bureau (for regular vehicles) after April 3. Bring your receipt to the base’s Vehicle Registration Office for a base decal.Motorcycles and minicars must go to Sasebo City Hall. Call DSN 252-2377 for more information.Naval Air Facility Atsugi: April 10-14.

Tax collection and decal issue will take place in the Old Fire Station, Building 22, during morning and afternoon sessions. Call DSN 264-3627 for more information.Those who prefer to pay off base can bring their receipts to the base Vehicle Registration Office near the front gate April 3-7 to pick up a base decal.Yokota Air Base: April 17-21 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Payments accepted on base at the Yujo Community Center.Motorcycles and minicars should be paid in the city office where the vehicle is registered.To pay off base, go to the Pass and Registration in Building 316, Room 124 for a form first. Call DSN 225-8932 or 225-8914 for more information.Misawa Air Base: Base residents pay according to the first letter in their last name at the Mokuteki Community Center ballroom, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following dates:

A-E - April 17F-L - April 18M-R - April 19S-Z - April 20Anyone away during these dates must either get someone to pay for them or pay directly at the tax office in Hachinohe. Call DSN 226-3995 for more information.

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni: April 3 and 28.

Heavy vehicles (regular cars) road tax must be paid off base on the first floor of the New Symphonia Building. The office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and parking is free in the rear of the building.Light vehicles (minicars) and motorcycles pay on the fourth floor of City Hall across from the police station, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Parking is free. For information or assistance, contact the base Pass and Registration Section at DSN 253-3161.Camp Zama: April 18 to 21 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Payments for regular vehicles can be made at the Camp Zama Community Club, Firelite Lounge.Motorcycle and minicar (light vehicle) owners can pay on base on April 21 only. Use form AJ 2412 instead of a DD form. Call DSN 263-4337 or 263-3732 for more information.Okinawa: Minicar and motorcycle taxes must be paid April 1 through May 31 to local city, town or village offices between 8:30 a.m. and noon or 1 p.m. toand 5 p.m. Bring the receipt to the Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office on Camp Foster to receive a 2006 sticker.

Owners of regular cars can pay on base:

Kadena Air Base: Keystone Theater, May 15-19, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Camp Foster: Foster Field House, May 22-26, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Camp Kinser: Theater, May 11-12, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Camp Courtney: Theater, May 8-9, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Camp Hansen: Theater, May 2, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.Camp Schwab: Beachhead Club, May 1, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.Torii Station: Gym, May 10, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.For more information, contact the Joint Services Vehicle Registration Office at DSN 645-7481/3963 or by e-mail at: jsvro@mcbbut ler.usmc.mil.

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