Assemblymember Cahill Announces the Repeal of Legislation that Shifts Court Fines to the State

December 17, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) announced the Governor signed legislation, which he sponsored, into law. This action repeals the provision that allows the State to collect traffic fines that previously went to the municipality where the violation occurred. This measure also requires the State to return any fines collected after September 1, 2004 to the municipalities.

Governor Pataki included this State money grab in his 2004-2005 Executive Budget. According to the Division of Budget, if this provision were allowed to stand, local governments across the state could have lost between $12 to $23 million in revenues generated through motor vehicle infractions. "The Governor didnít think twice about the impact this measure would have on local governments when he buried it in his budget," said Assemblymember Cahill.

Assemblymember Darrel Aubertine (D-Watertown) who introduced the legislation, along with Assemblymember Cahill, said, "I am very pleased that this legislation has been signed into law. It will save cities, towns and ultimately local taxpayers, $23 million they can hardly afford to lose."

"Many local elected officials contacted my office directly to inform me of the devastation this change would create," said Mr. Cahill. "Continuing to allow the State to siphon funds from local municipalities would have been catastrophic, threatening the continued operations of the lower courts and forcing cities, towns and villages across the state to increase real property taxes to recoup the void in revenues."

"I worked hard with my colleagues, including Assemblymember Aubertine, to create legislation that would reverse this unreasonable financial imposition," said Mr. Cahill. "Itís time for the Governor to stop attempting to balance the state budget on the back of taxpayers with these deceitful tactics and start working towards negotiating a fiscal plan that helps, not hurts them," he concluded.