Podcast: A Political “Catch 22” for Raising Drivers License and Vehicle Registration Fees

On the radio show today Mark Nelson, Deputy Director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, joined me to talk about a proposed hike to North Dakota’s drivers license and vehicle registration fees.

The the drivers license fees, which are currently $15 for a 6 year renewal, haven’t been raised since 1987. Vehicle registration fees, which vary depending on the sort of vehicle you’re registering, haven’t been raised since 2005.

Lawmakers were critical that gap between hikes in the fees, wondering why smaller increases weren’t implemented in the past.

The answer to that question is politics, it seems.

Nelson says there’s “absolutely a catch 22” when it comes to raising these fees. “Typically when the state is doing well there’s reluctance to raise fees,” he told me. Yet he says there’s also resistance to raising fees when the state is doing poorly and citizens feel like they don’t need the government taking more money out of their pockets.

Andy Keiser from the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress was also on to talk about Trump’s big meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and I talked about North Dakota Democrats labeling themselves “independents” in an election year.

Here’s the full audio of today’s show. If you’d like the audio delivered to your devices daily, get the podcast.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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