Bill sponsor says override for higher license fees unlikely
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Bill sponsor says override for higher license fees unlikely

Date: September 5, 2013
By: Matt Kalish
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 51

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri drivers won't face higher fees at the license office as a result of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill to raise those rates.

Bill sponsor Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, said the veto is unlikely to be overriden.

Munzlinger said that he’s had discussions with staff from the govenor's office about changing some parts of the bill during the 2014 session if the legislature doesn’t vote to override Nixon’s veto.

The bill would have increased fees on a wide range of services regarding driver's licenses and vehicle registration. Fees for annual motor vehicle registration would have increased from $3.50 to $5. Fees for renwing a driver's license for three years would have increased from $2.50 to $5. In fiscal year 2012, the state collected $12.3 million dollars from indivdual driver's license fees.

In his veto letter, Nixon wrote the bill would unnecessarily raise fees.

“Missourians should not have to pay more than $22 million in additional fees to renew their driver’s license or get their vehicle registered without any improvement in the services they receive," Nixon wrote.

The bill also would have allowed the Department of Revenue to reimburse license offices for services that are contracted out to private compaines for some costs. Nixon mentioned the reimbursements in his veto letter, writing that taxpayers would be giving the contracted offices subsidies on things like printer toner.

“It is hard to fathom why these additional taxpayer subsidies would be necessary on top of the increased fees” Nixon wrote.

However, according to Munzlinger the reimbursements are an important resource for offices that don’t get a lot of revenue through the fees.

"When you get to the urban areas, they make a pretty good living out of those license offices," Munzlinger said. "When you get up here in rural Missouri, where we don't have that much traffic through the doors it is hard to get an office."

The General Assembly returns for the veto session on Sept. 11.

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