Saturday, April 05, 2008
Specialty Plate Sales Plummet, "In God We Trust" Plates Blamed
The IBJ's Chris O'Malley says the sales of specialty license plates benefitting colleges and nonprofit organizations plunged nearly a third this past year after the BMV introduced the "In God We Trust" license plate as an alternative to the standard issue license plate. To a lesser degree, the Indianapolis Colts plate ate into the sales of other specialty plates. At the same time specialty plate sales were plummeting, more than 1.5 million of the IGWT plates were issued.
The sponsor of the IGWT legislation, Rep. Woody Burton, tries to shift blame to the ACLU. "Burton noted that the plate came out around the time the Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the Indiana General Assembly to ban explicitly Christian references in prayers held in the Legislature," O'Malley writes. "U.S. District Judge David Hamilton ruled that lawmakers must refrain from using the name of Christ. Many Christians were outraged and wanted to show it." Burton acknowledged that “IGWT” plates had an effect on specialty plate sales, but, “I don’t think it’s the effect,” he said. “There’s just a large group of organizations now vying for that money” from plate sales, he added. “That’s gotten to be very competitive.”