New York ticket revenue measure opposed

| 9/7/2004

A state lawmaker wants to repeal a section of New York’s budget that has the state taking money that cities and towns collect from lead-footed drivers.

The new law took effect Sept. 1. It is expected to bring in $23 million a year for the state.

But the money is coming out of town and city budgets, whose leaders say they cannot afford the loss.

“Towns and villages rely on this revenue to balance their budgets and pay for items such as local law enforcement and other necessary services,” Sen. John Bonacic, R-Mount Hope, told the Albany Times Union.

Bonacic has proposed repealing the measure.

The addition to the budget affects speeders ticketed on state roads. Previously, when they pleaded to lesser offenses, localities were given the fine money. Under the budget measure, if a speeding driver pleads guilty to a lesser offense and pays a $100 fine, $85 goes to the state and the town gets a $15 adjudication fee.

The city of New Paltz, which Bonacic represents, stands to lose $234,000, the newspaper reported.

Bonacic said the shift could force towns and villages to increase property taxes to make up for their losses in revenue.

A spokesman for Gov. George Pataki said he would also review the measure.