I've heard from many of you about the $150 small aircraft registration fee recently implemented by the Department of Transportation. Given the number of pilots in our district, this has proven to be an issue of concern and I've really appreciated hearing from everyone.
In an effort to learn more about the Department of Transportation's authority to impose a registration fee without the approval of the legislature, I obtained multiple legal opinions on the topic. In doing so, I found that in 2001, the legislature passed a bill repealing the Department's express authority to register aircraft and collect fees. Despite this repeal, existing law still gives the Department general rule-making authority. So, while it's technically legal for the Department to levy a fee, it was clearly not the legislature’s intent for this to happen.