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Nixon Vetoes Increases To Drivers License Fees

(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri drivers will not see their license fees double.
Governor Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have increased an array of fees at your local license office.

Under the bill, the costs of registering a vehicle would have gone up by $1.50. It also would have doubled the application fee for titles and obtaining or renewing a driver's license.

The bill was projected to raise $22 million annually, but Nixon in St. Louis Wednesday said it didn't specify the improvements that would be made using the money.

"Folks, if we're going to ask for a single penny more from our citizens, we better have a darn good reason to do it," Nixon said. "And when we're talking about $22 million increase for Missourians, the burden is very high."

Nixon said Missouri's low-tax, conservative fiscal policies are working, and this bill would hurt residents trying to recover from difficult financial times.

"It demands that our citizens pay more but fails to promise that in return government will actually do anything more," he said. "It increases the price tag of government while doing nothing to improve the product. It's taking money for the sake of taking it, and that's not a Missouri value."

Residents of the city of St. Louis and St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson and St. Louis counties would also have been charged a $2 fee to electronically view if their vehicle had passed inspection. Under the bill, no other counties would pay this fee.

The sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator Brian Munzlinger, said he hoped the bill would increase funds for rural county offices that are struggling or have been forced to close. Some residents have to travel 45 miles to the nearest license office because of closings, he said.

Follow Kristi Luther on Twitter: @kaluther