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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

User Fees creeping in?

Whenever the subject of user fees comes up, the public pushes back very hard, or at least some segments do.  I see that the FAA will no longer provide free access to the electronic version of the aviation charts we pilots use to navigate.  We already have to pay for the paper version, and recently the government quit selling them to Mom and Pop airports and forces everyone to go through a large conglomerator.  I suppose this reduces the paperwork the government does.  Kind of like Borg-Warner refusing to sell parts to you so you have to go to a retailer.  Of course, this make the retailers more monopolistic and thus makes them more money.

I wonder if USDA will start charging for access to the photos we currently can get for free?  That might mean we would all have to pay to use Google Earth or to see the maps of our own farms.  Do you see any examples of whether the government is trying to find ways to charge you for things that used to be considered part of their duty to provide?  Do you have to pay for land title searches, for example? 

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