Fee increases for Alabama marriage licenses and car tags raise questions in Jackson County

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) -- Starting in January the fee for Alabama marriage licenses and specialty car tags is going to increase . In Jackson County, with ongoing budget issues, there are questions about where that additional money is going.

Starting in January the fee for a marriage license issued in Jackson County will increase from $48 dollars to $78. The fee for most specialty car tags will increase up to $50, plus a $5 issuance fee.

County residents are asking questions about where that money is going.

Jackson County has been battling budget issues for years and was recently faced with a failed one cent sales tax increase vote that would have helped remedy the issues, so Commission Chair Matthew Hodges says there is confusion about those soon-to-be increased fees. "You know, what folks don't realize with all of these fees, they see these fees going up and yes the county does collect them, but we don't get any new dollars off of those increased fees," Hodges explains, "All of those dollars go directly to the state and they distribute it however the law states."

Driver's license fees also went up and Hodges says there was confusion there too.

In light of revenue issues the county is working with the local legislative delegation for a solution. "To come up with a plan and proposal that would have something in place by the end of this next year," Hodges says.

The fees will increase January first.

State officials say the marriage license fee increase is in an effort to sustain a statewide initiative against domestic violence. Also, the 'God Bless America' car tags will not be subjected to the increased fee.