Ohio Should Not Require Front License Plates
By Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville)
July 10, 2013
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On the subject of responsibly cutting government costs, oftentimes there is a tendency to focus first on big programs or agencies whose budgets are in the billions of dollars. While that is certainly a worthy goal—and one that I am forever committed to pursuing—many other steps can be taken on a much smaller scale to further reduce strain on taxpayers.

One such example is the idea to eliminate requiring Ohio drivers to carry two license plates on their vehicles. I have long been a proponent of ditching the front plate requirement, an action that all of our neighboring states have already taken. In all, 20 states only require one plate.

Legislation was introduced earlier this year to add Ohio to that list. House Bill 133 would save taxpayers about $1.4 million a year, as well as reduce the costs of fees on Ohioans by about $350,000. The largest expense in the production of license plates is adding the laminate sheeting to make them reflective. HB 133 would save more than $680,000 annually just on that procedure alone.

In speaking with constituents and hearing testimony, there is a lot of support for this legislation. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Terry Johnson, represents a district that borders West Virginia and Kentucky. During one of the hearings, he talked about how residents of those neighboring states like to display novelty front license plates that feature their faith, their favorite sports team or an organization they support. So while the bill saves the state dollars, it also provides an opportunity for people to express themselves.

Finally, savings at the state level would end up benefitting local governments. Each month, the state assesses BMV administrative costs and identifies excess, unneeded costs. That money is transferred to a fund that helps local governments pay for things like repairing bridges and roads. By freeing up $1.4 million in administrative costs at the BMV, more money will be available for local infrastructure projects.

As I mentioned earlier, this is one small step towards the goal of making government as fiscally responsible as it can be. Even the longest of touchdown drives are often paved with short 3-yard runs.

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Rep. Hood Encourages Constituents To Submit Online Legislative Survey


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