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Old 06-30-2007, 05:12 AM   #1
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Ouch, That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Virginia's new $3,550 speeding ticket

Traffic offenders face whopping additional fees that live on long after they've paid their fines. It's part of a growing 'driver responsibility' trend that targets chronic offenders.

By MSN Money staff and wires

Traffic patrols have long been known as roving tax collectors. But in Virginia, they really are collecting taxes.

Starting July 1, an array of traffic offenses, from expired licenses to speeding, come with a "civil remedial fee" attached. That means a motorist convicted of reckless driving (75 mph in a 55 zone would qualify) faces not only a fine of up to $2,500 and a year in jail, but a non-negotiable $350-a-year tax for three years. The law forbids judges from waiving or reducing the fee.

Many fees dwarf the fines. A driver who disobeys an officer's order to pull into a weigh station would be fined $35 and required to pay a $61 court processing fee. But the civil remedial fee would be $900 over three years.

Drunken driving? A fee of $1,000 a year for three years, plus fines and court costs. No insurance? That's $300 a year for three years, plus fines.

It doesn't stop there. Anyone unlucky enough to have 8 points or more on his license (reckless driving is good for 6 by itself) would pay an additional $100, plus $75 for any points over 8, up to $700 a year. (For a complete list of fee-carrying offenses, see this .pdf file.)

Such "driver responsibility programs" have become increasingly common for two reasons: Many states find that serial offenders make up the bulk of their cases, and they simply need the money. In fact, Virginia added a fee rather than increase fines because it wanted the money to improve its roads, and revenue from fines must go to public schools. The fees are expected to raise $200 million a year.

The sponsor of the law, David Albo, is a partner in one of Virginia's largest law firms; one of its specialties is traffic cases.

One twist that has Virginia drivers enraged is that the state can't charge fees on out-of-state drivers or revoke their licenses. For now, the fees apply only to residents.

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Old 06-30-2007, 05:19 AM   #2
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So when the roads around Virginia become the smoothest and best roads in the country, will they publically thank all the drunk and reckless drivers for footing the bill?
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:06 AM   #3
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That is just ridiculous! I hate the idea of cops collecting money for the state in general. And if a cop doesn’t write enough tickets he could get in some sort of trouble and be accused that doesn’t do his job at least in here in California, seriously that is just plain BS. Cops are here to keep everything in order….at least that’s what I used to think…..I guess now they work with IRS.
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:25 AM   #4
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Doesn't this go against all that "taxation without representation" thing we all learned about so long ago? Sounds to me to be more like a penalty and not a true tax. Maybe you Virginians should get the ACLU involved with this.

I thought that the highway tolls, gasoline taxes, license fees and property taxes were what paid for the roads upkeep in every state. What the hell is VA doing with all the money? I'll gaurantee that the politicians will find a way to siphon that money off and less than 10% of it ever makes it back to road upkeep or driver education.

Just wait till some of the high rollers from DC who live in VA start falling victim to this. See what happens then.

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Old 06-30-2007, 06:32 AM   #5
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:43 AM   #6
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I hate this place. I just moved here this summer because mother Air Force told me to and I can't wait to get outta here. This state taxes the crap outta people and the state legislature, county and cities can't get enough of the peoples money around here.

A recent blog that states all the new taxes:

As some of you may or may not know, the Virginia General Assembly is increasing the Grantor's Tax as part of the Northern Virginia Transportation Plan passed last March. Currently, the Grantor's Tax is $1 per $1000 of the sales price or assessed value, whichever is greater. The Virginia General Assembly approved an increase from $1 to $5 per $1000 effective July 1, 2007. The latest news is that they are delaying the increase until September 1, 2007 and may only be raising it to $4 per $1000.

As a seller of a $400,000 property in Virginia, the new rate of $5 per $1000 means an increase from $400 to $2,000. Even if the lesser amount of $4 per $1000 goes into effect, the amount would be $1,600, an increase of $1,200.

But wait, there's more...

According to NVAR, here are some other things included in the plan:

* 2 percent increase in the rental car tax
* 2 percent increase in the hotel/motel occupancy tax
* $10 increase in the vehicle safety inspection fee
* 1 percent initial vehicle registration fee (for new car purchases or those moving into the region)
* 5 percent sales tax on auto repairs
* $10 regional auto registration fee

In addition, the authority may choose to implement the following optional revenues:

* Annual commercial real estate fee of up to 25 cents per $100
* $10 local car registration fee
* Commercial/residential impact fee (amount to be determined)

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Old 06-30-2007, 07:49 AM   #7
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they might as well come out and say "we will rip you any way we can, so either deal with it or move"
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Old 06-30-2007, 08:48 AM   #8
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I can see someone actually challenging these fines. One could argue they are cruel and unusual punishment. Does the punishment fit the crime?
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Old 06-30-2007, 09:10 AM   #9
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What the hell am I doing on 986forum.com???

I need to be getting in the last of my "cheap" speeding/reckless driving today.

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