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Monday, June 14, 2010 - 1:09pm

July 1 Brings Steep Fee Increase

Starting July 1st licenses and fees will go up for many professions in Georgia. Lawmakers say the move is necessary to balance the state’s budget.

The Republican-controlled legislature was not going to raise any taxes in an election year.

Instead lawmakers decided to raise fees for many state licenses. The higher fees are expected to bring in more than $90 million much needed dollars.

But small business owner Lisa Forgey says it’s not fair. She runs the Giggle and Grow day care center in Ringgold and will see her license fees go up by more than 200 percent from $35 dollars to over a hundred.

“You really boil it down to how many people are affected by those fees. It’s not just daycare centers," she says. "It's home day cares, it’s anybody in the state of Georgia that has a license to keep children.”

Other professions to see fee hikes range from animal shelter operators to mobile home inspectors and notary publics. Lawmakers argued that many of the fees had not been adjusted in decades. Most of the fee hikes will be within the court system.

Lawmakers did not increase popular fees for hunting and fishing. The cost for drivers licenses won't go up either.

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