County speeding tickets may increase - Tucson News Now

County speeding tickets may increase

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

In search for new money, Pima County is proposing an increase in court fees, processing fees and speeding fines.

If approved, a speeding ticket will increase $37.

$20 of that will go to the county, $17 to the state.

The county believes it needs the funds to offset the costs of moving into the new Justice Courts building downtown.

Much of the increase may be caused by an increased need for security.

"There are more specific security issues that need to be considered whenever you operate a courthouse these days," says Richard Elias, Pima County Supervisor from District V.

The $20 fee increase will apply to civil complaints, eviction complaints and of course speeding citations.

A "waste of finite resources" citation will go from $79.50 to $115.50.

One to ten over limit from $176.50 to $213.50.

"It's way excessive," says Robert Perra as he headed into court to pay for a 45 in a 35 mile zone. "It's not fair."

"It's way to expensive," says Robert Phippin, who had his charges dismissed. "What about people who can't pay those fines, they end up in jail?"

But the county was put in a difficult position when the city of Tucson pulled out of the courthouse deal.

For years, Tucson was thought to be the biggest tenant in the new building and would help defray the costs.

After years of work, $17 million in grave site mitigation and after the construction contracts had been awarded, the city pulled out.

"That cost us about $20 million from the general fund," says Elias.

Although he doesn't believe that is the reason for the increased fees.

"It's probably less because we don't have as many judges in the building," he says.

He says the increased fees are more like user fees.

"These are similar to the same concept," he says. "It's related to court activities."

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