Cities have another way for revenue

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 13, 2003

The idea of the police chief in Henning to charge administrative fines for traffic violations rather than state citations is a rather clever one.

It may not seem like a big deal; charging those who are caught speeding or running a red light with violating a city ordinance rather than a state law. However, it means traffic violators will pay a lower fine. And most importantly, the City of Henning collects the money, rather than the state.

It is a policy that all greater Minnesota cities ought to consider.

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The Legislature, after all, cut state aid to cities, and greater Minnesota cities received the largest burden of the cut in comparison to suburban cities. In addition, the Legislature also set a levy limit, which prohibits cities from raising property taxes to make up the losses.

Thus, it's hard to blame cities for looking for additional sources of income. If charging administrative fines for traffic violations can bring in additional local income -- and it will save violators a few bucks -- it sounds like a smart move on the part of cities.