With the Oregon Legislature expected to close down for the
year as soon as mid-August, an effort to put a cap on a notorious speed trap is
awaiting approval in the state’s House.
Sponsored by Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, the bill limits
how much money the city of Coburg, a town of less than 1,000 people north of
Eugene, is allowed to generate through speeding fines on traffic along
According to The Associated Press, the cap of 10
percent of the city’s general fund would cut the Williamette Valley town’s
revenues by about $180,000.
Supporters of the bill – SB1074 – said Coburg relies too
heavily on traffic fines to pay for city services compared with most cities.
A survey by the League of Oregon Cities appears to support
Prozanski told legislators prior to the chamber’s 21-9 vote
to advance the bill that the league found traffic fines represented about 4
percent of the average Oregon town’s general fund, with only six of those
cities relying on traffic fines for more than 10 percent of their general fund
with one reaching as much as 16 percent. In contrast, 25 percent of Coburg’s
general fund comes from traffic fines, he said.
“The lesson here is, don’t rely on operating an I-5 speed
trap to fund your city services, because there’s a day when the people say
you’ve squeezed this lemon just a little too hard,” Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John
Day, recently told the news agency.
The bill, which previously passed the Senate, is in the
House Budget Committee where it must be approved before heading to the full
chamber. If approved there, it would go to Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s desk.