Occupational License fees reach over $8M

Ever heard of occupational licenses?  Barbers, landscape contractors, pest control applicators, manicurist, massage therapist, and the list continues.  What all of these career fields have in common is the government requirement to obtain a license before they can perform their skill.  Many have discussed the number of licensed occupations, or what barriers to entry for new employees these pose.  I want to argue how much they cost.

I have recently found the occupational license collections totals for North Carolina counties – and it is more than you might think.  Statewide the total collections come to $8,144,669.  See the list of the top 25 counties below and the totals each received from occupational license collections – if you ask me, it is way too much.

County License Collection
Cumberland $921,773
Gaston $733,650
New Hanover $647,094
Cabarrus $594,165
Orange $547,738
Wake $446,298
Currituck $414,475
Mecklenburg $382,750
Forsyth $354,994
Wilkes $340,482
Camden $337,938
Nash $274,001
Guilford $198,343
Randolph $116,067
Macon $111,296

Sarah Curry

Sarah Curry is Director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the John Locke Foundation.