The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

New Hampshire State Fees

A Study of the Current Fee Creation System
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1112-10
May 02, 2012
Stephen
Prager
Travis
Blalock
Clinton
Grable
Adrian
Ferrari
Ellen
Daily

Executive Summary

New Hampshire legislators recently considered House Bill 624, which would have mandated that the legislature establish all state fees and fines through statute. This measure would have shifted control over the establishment and adjustment of fee amounts from state agencies to the legislature, except for those fees already set in statute. This report accompanies a list and description of all fees in the Department of Environmental Services—a randomly selected pilot case for fee identification—and examines the potential impact of this measure on the efficiency and effectiveness of the fee-setting process. It concludes that this measure would increase voter representation in the fee-making process, but it could also politicize the process and potentially increase the variance of the fee from its market cost. In addition, we find that the process of collecting all of the various fees, understanding their purpose and fair cost, and passing them in statute, could be resource-prohibitive for the NH House of Representatives.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences