Proposed state fees would hike variety of costs, from driver's licenses to cell phones

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MPR examines some of the new fees and fee increases that are sprinkled in budget bills under consideration in the Minnesota House and Senate.

Democratic leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton aim to hike taxes by about $2.5 billion, and the fees and surcharges would raise perhaps $300 million more, MPR says. Those fee changes would pop up in the everyday lives of Minnesotans in a number of places.

MPR reports that proposals include raising a variety of fees: $3 more for a driver's license, a $5 surcharge on homeowner's and auto insurance policies, a new fee on prepaid cell phones and a $15 surcharge on traffic violations.

Another example: The House environment budget bill raises fees on water, which would translate to bigger bills for municipalities. Lakeville's water fees would go from $45,000 a year to $125,000 a year, City Administrator Steve Mielke said. "The only way we pay for that is to pass the cost on to our water customers," Mielke told MPR.

GOP critics of the fee increases are fighting the proposals. "It's breathtaking in its scope and amount," Republican Rep. Mary Liz Holberg of Lakeville, told MPR.

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