Government & Politics

Who dat say they’d pay mo’ for a cool driver’s license?

Legislative watchdog C.B Forgotston expects Gov. Bobby Jindal to veto a bill that repeals the fee increase on driver’s licenses, which the Jindal administration ordered earlier this year.

Forgotston correctly asserts that this fee is tantamount to a tax, and he urges everyone to support the repeal and oppose a veto. As a stalwart opponent of taxes and red tape, Forgotston has crusaded against the new driver’s license fees on his blog (while hardly mentioning the oil spill). Some argue that Jindal “only” increased license fees by $15 a pop, but Forgotston says that adds up to a $13 million annual tax on Louisianans, proving that Jindal’s anti-tax rhetoric is merely empty pablum.

Though I disagree with Forgotston that taxes and red tape are Louisiana’s biggest  problems, and while I’d love to needle Bobby “the Next Ronald Reagan” Jindal about his new taxes, I want to offer both of them a creative solution: a third way that will increase revenue without increasing taxes.

First, Jindal should holster his veto pen and let the fee get repealed. Next, he should work with the Legislature to create a special Saints driver’s license to go along with the Saints license plates that are expected to raise a tidy sum for the state. The Saints driver’s licenses would cost, say, $40 more than the regular ones. Instead of having a blank background for your mug, the clerk would pull down a special Saints wallpaper to frame your face. It could have a black-and-gold fleur de lis background sprinkled with “Who dats.”

No doubt, Saints fans would pay extra for this flair on their licenses. If you’re a true fan, how can you get the Who Dat plate without the matching Who Dat license? Fans would wear their Saints jerseys when they renew, and you know they’d be smiling when the photo snaps. I could see fans coordinating their renewals, arriving en masse, and perhaps trying to tailgate in the DMV parking lot. A boring bureaucratic exercise becomes fun, and the state gets more revenue. For Saints fans, it would be a rare football “fix” during the summer. Everyone wins.

Why not this fun option, rather than a mandatory tax?

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About Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and the Federal Flood he helped create the Rising Tide conference, which grew into an annual social media event dedicated to the future of New Orleans.

  • jeffrey

    NFL will want a cut prompting Vitter to send them a strongly worded letter.

    I’m surprised the city hasn’t been contacted by the league over last year’s brake tag color scheme already

  • Marcia Menter

    From The Advocate page 1 Juneteenth 2010:

    Gov. Bobby Jindal bowed Friday night to the Louisiana Legislature’s bid to repeal a $15 driver’s license fee increase implemented by his administration.

    By signing Senate Bill 407 into law, Jindal ended speculation on whether he would veto a bill that overwhelmingly passed the Legislature.

    The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Joe McPherson, said Jindal showed consistency in signing the legislation.

    He said the governor typically opposes legislation and then embraces it at the end when the momentum is against him.

    “That little whore wants all the credit,” McPherson said.

  • Mark Moseley

    Great excerpt! Many thanks.

  • I think Louisiana already has more vanity plate offerings than any other state in the Union. I’m not making that up, either.

    No (X’s 2), I won’t be finding you a link to that info; we’ve gone over that before.

  • Mark Moseley

    Yes, thus the opportunity for more corresponding “wallpaper” for DL photo backgrounds.