Perry Registers Car in New Hampshire

By: Tom Duggan – March, 2007

North Andover School Committee Chairman Al Perry has been seen driving around town in a new 2007 Cadillac Escalade with New Hampshire license plates. This week he admitted that he registered his new car in the state of New Hampshire, explaining that, “after March, I plan to spend much of my time at my new home in New Hampshire and that is where the car will be.”

 Rumors have been spreading furiously throughout North Andover that the School Committee chairman registered his cars in New Hampshire and is really a New Hampshire resident. Something that Perry denies.

 Perry said the rumors are a political ploy to negate his voting on the committee. “People in town are not happy with my vote for O’Neill for superintendent and are trying to make trouble for me. They are trying to make a case that I am a New Hampshire resident, so my vote does not count and that I would have to immediately resign from the School Committee.”

 “I have five other cars that are registered in Massachusetts for which I pay excise tax here in North Andover,” he said. “I also have a business in North Andover and pay income taxes and property taxes in Massachusetts.”

 Perry’s term expires at the end of this month and he says he is not running again for office in North Andover.

 In addressing the controversy, Perry spoke candidly with The Valley Patriot. “A year and a half ago, I purchased a lake house in Meredith, N.H. It is a beautiful 7,000 square foot home with seven bedrooms and six baths. I pay $18,000 a year in property taxes in New Hampshire for that home and $1,000 a year for a car tax.

 It is that car tax and that registered car that are the center of this controversy.

 “This new Escalade will be driven predominately in New Hampshire, so I registered it in New Hampshire,” Perry continued. “I am still a registered voter in North Andover,” he says. “These attacks are purely political.”

 School Committeeman Bill Kelly questioned Perry’s judgment in registering his car in New Hampshire. “A member of the School Committee must follow the rules as we ask our students to and not evade them,” he charged. “We need to lead by example.”

 Upon learning that Perry was registering his new car in the state of New Hampshire, North Andover Selectman (and Police Officer) Dan Lanen was outraged. “This town has been vigorously going after out-of-state registrations and unpaid property taxes. I do not know the particulars of this case, but I would be shocked if one of our elected officials would be skirting the law. If you live in North Andover, your car should be registered in North Andover,” Lanen concluded.

 When asked about the regulations regarding registering a car in Massachusetts versus New Hampshire, Tom Sullivan of Sullivan Insurance in Lawrence said, “It is a question of fact. In what state is the car principally garaged? That is where the car should be registered. Anyone who lives in Massachusetts and registers their car in New Hampshire is breaking the law unless the car is principally garaged in New Hampshire.”

 “Al Perry is an elected official and owns an insurance agency in Massachusetts. He, of all people should know better than to register a car in New Hampshire,” Sullivan concluded.