“‘Somebody has to pay,’ Margiotta said.”

by Walter Olson on November 22, 2013

Long Island: “The head of Suffolk’s new Traffic & Parking Violations Agency on Thursday defended the controversial policy of charging an administrative fee even on tickets that are dismissed.” [Newsday]

{ 12 comments }

1 Boblipton 11.22.13 at 2:53 pm

If Margiotta thinks some one has to pay, then he should.

Bob

2 ras 11.22.13 at 3:01 pm

What he said: Somebody has to pay.

What he meant: Somebody else has to pay.

3 Hugo S. Cunningham 11.22.13 at 3:29 pm

I gather he is not charging those who were actually innocent,but rather those who were granted dismissal as a courtesy after repairing a minor infraction, eg dead tail-light.

4 John Burgess 11.22.13 at 4:58 pm

I think it only fair that if a ticket is dismissed, then the person who issued the ticket erroneously should pay the administrative fee. Or have it docked from their salary.

5 Frank Bogulski 11.22.13 at 5:41 pm

They have made a similar “money-grubbing” move in Buffalo, NY. After about 20 years of the same alternate side of the street parking rules for residential city streets, they instituted a change it the weekdays for switching to the alternate side. So many residents were used to the same 2 days over those 20 years, that after the change, one could witness, at minimum, 2 cars per street that fail to remember the new dates. At $35 a ticket, per however many streets there are in the city, equals to large influx of cash for the city. Makes one think, doesn’t it?

6 blhlls 11.22.13 at 5:46 pm

According to the underlying story, he was not arguing they should collect the fee on erroneously issued tickets.

7 Walter Olson 11.22.13 at 8:34 pm

Here’s some earlier Newsday coverage indicating that the county hasn’t always lived up to the aim of not collecting fees on erroneously issued tickets. For the category of tickets validly issued under a state mandate of forgiveness for quick correction, yes, it’s easier to argue plausibly for some sort of fee if consistent with the state rules for the program.

8 David Schwartz 11.22.13 at 9:00 pm

It seems there’s a factual dispute. I think most people agree it’s reasonable to charge people fees in line with actual administrative costs when they were in fact guilty of an offense but got the ticket dismissed because of corrective action. And I don’t think anyone wants to stand up and defend the policy of charging people an administrative fee if they are actually found not guilty of the ticket is dismissed because they didn’t break the law.

9 DensityDuck 11.23.13 at 1:44 am

It should be pointed out that the “administrative fees” are often more than double the amount of the fine for the infraction.

10 Mike 11.25.13 at 10:51 am

Look, after approx. 13 years of one party being in control of Suffolk Co., it is flat broke, even to the point of selling off County facilities and property to developers (see, e.g., the sale of the County infirmary and adjacent lands in Yaphank).
This is an old municipal shell game, in which unjustifiable fees are raised so that the executive and legislature can crow that they have not raised taxes.

11 JTW 11.25.13 at 12:06 pm

“I gather he is not charging those who were actually innocent,but rather those who were granted dismissal as a courtesy after repairing a minor infraction, eg dead tail-light.”

if you read closely, it seems he actually is charging people found innocent on appeal as well.
And going that way, he could well end up charging them more, so much more that appealing a ticket can end up costing you more in administrative fees than the ticket would have cost you in the fine.
Which is for the city a very good result, as it would mean no more appeals, no more statistics showing a large percentage of tickets handed out that are incorrectly issued. Which makes the police look particularly good.

12 Walter Olson 12.18.13 at 6:07 pm

Update: county lawmakers have voted to discontinue the fee as applied to ticket dismissals, instead raising the fee on convictions.

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