I know that nowadays, fees are about as sure a thing as taxes, as far as government is concerned. But this still strikes me in a funny way. And not "ha ha" funny, more of a "WTF?" funny.
Here you can read about a proposal for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to increase the fees for issuing every birth and death certificate in Maryland from $12 to $24. This is forecasted to raise $7.9 million for the state treasury in FY12, which begins July 1, 2011.
I guess the need for a copy of one's birth certificate is less frequent than the need for a deceased loved one's death certificate. Certainly, no one has need for a copy of their own death certificate!
Birth certificate copies are needed for obtaining a passport, drivers' license (I think), and Social Security number. Other than that-- not much need. On the other hand, there is a lot of need for copies of death certificates. Having administered my father's and grandmother's estates, I'm guessing that in maybe each case, I needed about fifteen copies of death certificates-- for notifications to creditors, heirs, etc.
Maryland estate law allows the executor of an estate to charge these costs to the estate, which is nice. And of course, I'm sure the deceased doesn't much care about the fee increase.
I'm not against these increases, but I'd much rather see proposals to increase revenue in Maryland based on consumptive needs and lifestyle choices, like gasoline, alcohol and tobacco, moreso than things one ultimately has to deal with regardless.