Monday, July 10, 2006


The on-again, off-again news conference from a handful of Republicans in the Missouri House finally happened on Monday, without the blessing of Gov. Matt Blunt, who was either too busy to meet with the lawmakers, or was given the high hand by them. Pick your spin.

The plan from Rep. Ryan Silvey calls for the Department of Revenue to "rescind all current fee agent contracts" by September 2007 and seek fresh bids. Notes from the Silvey camp, peddled to the media on Monday, outlined the process (typos and all) of who gets to bid, and in what order:
(A) First to non profit organizations and entities that have 501(c) status with the Internal Revenue Service. Types of entities would include, but not be limited to, chamber's of commerce, veterans' organizations, and local school foundations;

(B) Second to local political subdivisions. These would include, but not be limited to, county or city collectors, clerk's, or fire districts.

(C) No individual or for profit entity would be eligible for selection.
Our favorite gimmick from the plan is Point 8:
No customer shall have to wait any longer than thirty minutes for service or their fee is waved.
And your next pizza is free!

The Blunt Administration refuses to acknowledge any sort of problem with the fee offices, despite reports of an active FBI investigation. On Monday a man from the governor's revenue department was blunt: "We would disagree with the representatives' assessment that the system is broken."


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the contracts should be awarded to a foundation specializing in the proper use of apostrophes.

Anonymous said...

Other then the 30 minute gimmick the proposals look remarkably like Democrat Doug Harpool's proposals. Other Democrats have also suggested these reforms. Apparantly these Republicans had a conversion. I wonder if the FBI investigation and the upcoming election had anything to do with it. It would be nice for someone to make other Republican candidates committ themselves on the issue now before the election.

Anonymous said...

Some member of the media ought to pin Dixon, Champion and other Republican nominees selected in August down on this issue.

The Libertarian Guy said...

I can understand the problem with having politically-connected toadies in charge of these things... that's a bad idea. But I can't see why this shouldn't be a for-profit, non-government-run proposition, as long as the propreitors have no connection to the State government's employees or elected officials.

Anonymous said...

If you award the offices by competitive bid it certainly would vastly improve things. However if the state is going to mandate payment of a transaction fee in order to license a car the proceeds of the mandated fee above the actual costs of actual operating costs should go to provide services or reduce taxees. I guess you could require the agents to compete over transaction fees (not all change the same mandated fee by treating the state fee as a maximum). That would be free enterprise.

The Newtster said...

I've said all along that this is what you end up with under this arrangement.
However, with that being said, nobody ever complained when the State ran these centers and the State pocketed all the money. So is it OK for the government to rake in the cash, but not OK when it's an individual?
It's a double standard.
I'd be in favor of going back to the old way, the State running things, that way the left would be happy knowing that the money and profits were going to a good cause. Government.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that point that's being missed here is that it cost us, the consumers, MORE. When Springfield had a state office we did not pay these extra fees.

It was a mistake to turn the Springfield office into political patronage--and a sign of the way the Blunt administration views "public service."

The Libertarian Guy said...

Government = good cause?

I can't say that with a straight face.