Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is speeding the hot new transportation revenue source?

Following yesterday's proposal from a gubernatorial candidate from Nevada to raise revenue by issuing speeding permits, Indiana has taken a more conventional approach to raising revenues: raise the cost of speeding tickets! From the NY Times:

Facing a $13 billion budget deficit, Illinois will soon find its coffers further supplemented by a reliable source: disobedient drivers.

Starting next Wednesday, bonds for the most common speeding tickets will increase statewide to $120 from $75. In situations where offenders are not required to appear in court, the bonds effectively act as the fine amount for the offense.

“Looking at every other state, we realized our bonds were way too low,” said Judge Jeffrey B. Ford of Champaign County Circuit Court, who was chairman of the Supreme Court subcommittee that began examining the issue in 2005.

Increasing revenues was not an explicitly stated purpose for the study, he said. “We didn’t even know the economy was going to tank when we started on this,” Judge Ford said.

But, he added, “Rest assured, you increase the bonds, you’re going to increase revenue.”

So here are two different approaches to a similar problem. However, the Nevada proposal by Gino DiSimone seems downright Coasian in contrast to the Indiana legislation. In any event, two data points make a trend* so I'm declaring speeders to be the new sugar daddies of state revenues.

*This is not true.

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