Suit Seeks Rollback of 2009 Increase In BMV Fee For Driver License Abstracts
Based on Alleged Unconstitutional Use of Revenue for Non-Highway Purpose
Ohio Trucking Association et al. v. Director Thomas Stickrath [Thomas Charles] et al., (Ohio Department of Public Safety), Case no. 2011-1757
Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County)
Did 2009 legislation raising the fee charged by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a driver license abstract from $2 to $5, and allocating revenues from that increase to five funds not directly related to highways or motor vehicle law enforcement, violate Section 5(a), Article XII of the Ohio Constitution by expending “fees, excises or license taxes” relating to “operation or use of vehicles on public highways” for a non-highway purpose?
If the 2009 legislation does violate Section 5(a), Article XII based on its expenditure provisions, may a court remedy that defect by invalidating the portion of the law assessing the fee increase, or is a court limited to severing the unconstitutional expenditure provisions from the statute, and requiring that revenues generated by the fee increase be allocated to a constitutionally permissible “highway purpose?”