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Traffic Tickets Bankroll Several VA Cities

If you do much driving in the state of Virginia, this next story may be of interest.  Governing Magazine reviewed financial records for communities nationwide and reported on those which depend heavily on traffic fines to pay their bills.

If you plan on passing through Eastville any time soon, watch your speed.  That tiny town on Virginia’s Eastern Shore gets 72% of its revenue from fines and forfeitures. Waverly, southeast of Petersburg, depends on fines for nearly 35% of its income, while LaCrosse – off  I-85 near the North Carolina line – reports 21% of revenue from those who break the law.

Between Charlottesville and Louisa, Gordonsville is next – collecting more than eight percent of its money through fines.  The magazine says those places could be in trouble as autonomous vehicles replace drivers with heavy feet.  And in some places community activists are demanding lower fines, arguing they unfairly punish the poor.

Governing noted most places that topped its list were in the South –low-income communities with a limited tax base, many in the state of Louisiana. There, some towns get 80-92 percent of their budget from fines. 

Click here to read the full article from Governing

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief