The Barbers Board would like to cut competition, too, thank you

Let it not be said that the North Carolina State Board of Barber Examiners is cutting corners at the legislature this session.

sevilleAspects of two separate bills suggest the board would like it to be harder in various ways for poor barbers to make it in this state. That is, to exercise their self-evident, inalienable right to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor.”

As I wrote for the John Locke Foundation’s policy position on occupational licensing:

The most consistent finding in academic research literature on occupational licensing is … licensing boosts the earnings of those already in the profession by limiting the supply of competitors and driving up the price of service.

Limiting competitors, driving up costs: illustrated

House Bill 142 is mostly a stab at fixing the state’s oversight of occupational licensing boards as necessitated by the Supreme Court decision in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission (2015).

For some reason, however, that bill has a special section just for the barbers board. What would it do?

It would make it state law that someone who doesn’t have a high school education can’t work in this state as a barber — can’t obtain a certificate from the board, and can’t be admitted into a barber school.

House Bill 278 would raise the price of each separate license-related fee for barbers by $50 apiece. There are many of them:

  1. Certificate of registration or renewal as a barber: from $50 to $100
  2. Certificate of registration or renewal as an apprentice barber: from $50 to $100
  3. Barbershop permit or renewal: from $50 to $100
  4. Examination to become a registered barber: from $85 to $135
  5. Examination to become a registered apprentice barber: from $85 to $135
  6. Late fee for restoration of an expired barber certificate within first year after expiration: from $85 to $135
  7. Late fee for restoration of an expired barber certificate after first year after expiration but within five years after expiration: from $70 to $120
  8. Late fee for restoration of an expired apprentice certificate within first year after expiration: from $35 to $85
  9. Late fee for restoration of an expired apprentice certificate after first year after expiration but within three years of first issuance of the certificate: from $45 to $95
  10. Late fee for restoration of an expired barbershop certificate: from $45 to $95
  11. Examination to become a barber school instructor: from $165 to $215
  12. Student permit: from $25 to $75
  13. Issuance of any duplicate copy of a license, certificate, or permit: from $10 to $60
  14. Barber school permit or renewal: from $130 to $180
  15. Late fee for restoration of an expired barber school certificate: from $85 to $135
  16. Barber school instructor certificate or renewal: from $85 to $135
  17. Late fee for restoration of an expired barber school instructor certificate within first year after expiration: from $45 to $95
  18. Late fee for restoration of an expired barber school instructor certificate after first year after expiration but within three years after expiration: from $85 to $135
  19. Inspection of newly established barbershop: from $120 to $170
  20. Inspection of newly established barber school: from $220 to $270
  21. Issuance of a registered barber or apprentice certificate by certification: from $120 to $170

As a final kick, it would remove a longevity bonus under which barbers 70 years or older aren’t required to pay fees for a certificate or renewal.

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