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Va. assembly increases fees to close budget hole but skips most controversial items

Rosalind Helderman

In this morning's story on the adoption of the state budget and the legislature's adjournment of its annual session, we talked a little about the fee increases agreed to by the House and Senate. How heavily to lean on fees had been a central budgeting question from early in the 61-day session for the legislature, particularly for Republicans who had promised not to raise taxes.

In the end, the General Assembly accepted close to $100 million in revenues from increased fees--about 40 percent of what had been proposed by the Democratic-controlled Senate--but rejected some of the specific items that drew attention, including a new fee on phone lines.

Sen. Edd Houck (D-Spotsylvania) was sure to mention during Sunday's briefing on the budget that Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) had not only accepted the fee increases in the budget but advocated on their behalf. McDonnell had said he could live with those increased fees that have a direct connection to the service on which they were being applied and had not been raised in some time.

Here's a more in-depth look at what fees are increasing, courtesy of Post staffer Fredrick Kunkle.

Fee increase proposals rejected by House and Senate budget conferees:

-- An 18-cent boost on the E-911 levy imposed on all cell phones and land lines

-- A hike in fees to obtain vital records from $12 to $20

-- A $2.50 fee per each credit hour for in-state students at Virginia's colleges and universities.

Some of the increased fees adopted by the General Assembly

-- Higher court fees for sheriffs and Commonwealth Attorneys, which vary. Will raise $20 million over the next two years.

-- New $10 fee on each criminal conviction to fund Alicia's Law, a measure that created two state law enforcement task forces that target people who use the Internet to commit crimes against children.

-- Fee that funds state police and EMS workers on vehicle registrations will rise from $4.25 to $6.25

-- Annual fee for Coal and Mineral Mine Safety Program goes to $350 a year from $180

-- Fee for recording a deed goes up by $10

-- Fee for reinstating a driver's license after following a DUI suspension will go from $50 to $100

By Fredrick Kunkle  |  March 15, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Fredrick Kunkle , General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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