Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that he has proposed an amendment to correct inequities in a measure that would establish a mandatory surcharge for traffic violations in Suffolk and Nassau counties. Senator LaValle opposed the recently introduced measure based on concerns with regard to the fair return of revenues to our local municipalities.
According to Senator LaValle, the bill proposed intends to raise revenues that would help offset law enforcement expenses for Suffolk and Nassau counties. Under the measure, the Governor and the Legislature would have the authority to distribute the funds back to the localities. Senator LaValle is concerned that the state could manipulate this fund for other purposes if deemed necessary.
The recommendation put forth by Senator LaValle would ensure that revenues would be returned to the municipality that imposed the fine. The Senator also recommended that towns and villages outside the Suffolk County Police District receive a fair share of the funds generated to support their local law enforcement departments.
“We just witnessed the Governor raid the SUNY tuition increase for purposes other than education,” said Senator LaValle. “The amendment I am recommending is a proactive proposal to ensure that the specific purpose of this fund is in no way altered or diverted to support anything other than our local law enforcement departments.”
In a separate action impacting Suffolk County, Senator LaValle voted against increasing the hotel and motel taxes. However, the measure passed both houses and has been delivered to the Governor. If enacted, the bill would allow for an increase in lodging tax from ¾ percent to 3 percent. “During these difficult economic times, we should be doing all we can to promote tourism and not create additional taxes and fees that will discourage people from visiting our region,” concluded Senator LaValle.