In Indiana, the extra fee for specialty tags doesn’t apply to one that invokes the divine. Critics go to court.
By P.J. HUFFSTUTTER
Los Angeles Times
May 1, 2007 – The Scrooge Report Post
FORT WAYNE, IND. — When Mark Studler was renewing his specialty license plate recently, which touts his support of environmental issues, he expected to pay the annual premium of $40 to the state.
After all, he wanted to express his love of the great outdoors every time he hit the highways — and liked that $25 of the fee was donated to the Indiana Heritage Trust, a state conservation group.
But he objected to a new license plate that he felt also qualified as a specialty plate — one with the motto “In God We Trust” — but didn’t require a premium. Not even the $15 extra fee that usually goes to the state for administrative costs.
“I don’t have any problem with people expressing their religious beliefs, whether it’s on a bumper sticker or their license plate,” said Studler, 49, a construction worker. “But folks should be treated in the same way — and charged the same fees by the state — as Hoosiers who prefer that their custom tags promote education or the environment.”