HB1620 (2008) Detail

Adding a fee to motor vehicle fines for use by law enforcement agencies.


HB 1620-FN-A-LOCAL – AS INTRODUCED

2008 SESSION

08-2216

03/10

HOUSE BILL 1620-FN-A-LOCAL

AN ACT adding a fee to motor vehicle fines for use by law enforcement agencies.

SPONSORS: Rep. Winters, Hills 17

COMMITTEE: Ways and Means

ANALYSIS

This bill adds an administrative fee to motor vehicle fines for use by law enforcement agencies.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

08-2216

03/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eight

AN ACT adding a fee to motor vehicle fines for use by law enforcement agencies.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Section; Motor Vehicles; Penalties and Court Appearances; Administrative Fee. Amend RSA 262 by inserting after section 41 the following new section:

262:41-a Administrative Fee.

I. Every court shall levy an administrative fee of $5 on each fine or penalty imposed by the court for a violation of RSA title XXI. The clerk of each court shall collect each administrative fee and shall transmit the amount collected to the state treasurer, who shall forward the amount to the law enforcement agency issuing the summons. The treasurer may disburse administrative fees to the issuing agency on an annual basis.

II. The director shall levy an administrative fee of $5 on each fine imposed by the director for a violation of RSA title XXI for which a plea of guilty or nolo contendere is entered by mail or the defendant has failed to enter a plea by mail. The director shall collect each administrative fee and shall transmit the amount collected to the state treasurer, who shall forward the amount to the law enforcement agency issuing the summons. The treasurer may disburse administrative fees to the issuing agency on an annual basis.

2 Waiver in Lieu of Court Appearance; Administrative Fee. Amend RSA 262:44, I to read as follows:

I. Such defendant shall receive, in addition to [his] the summons, a uniform fine schedule entitled “Notice of Fine, Division of Motor Vehicles” which shall contain the normal fines for violations of the provisions of title XXI on vehicles for which a plea may be entered by mail. The defendant shall be given a notice of fine indicating the amount of the fine plus administrative fee required by RSA 262:41-a plus penalty assessment at the time the summons is issued; except if, for cause, the summoning authority wishes the defendant to appear personally. Defendants summoned to appear personally shall do so on the arraignment date specified in the summons, unless otherwise ordered by the court. Defendants who are issued a summons and notice of fine and who wish to plead guilty or nolo contendere shall enter their plea on the summons and return it with payment of the fine plus administrative fee plus penalty assessment to the director of motor vehicles within 30 days of the date of the summons. The director of motor vehicles shall remit the penalty assessments collected to the police standards and training council for deposit in the police standards and training council training fund and to the state treasurer to be credited and continually appropriated to the victims’ assistance fund in the percentages and manner prescribed in RSA 188-F:31. Fines shall be paid over to the commissioner of administrative services, or to such department or agency of the state as the law provides, within 14 days of their receipt.

3 Default; Administrative Fee. Amend RSA 262:44, III(a)(2) to read as follows:

(2) Fails to pay a fine or other penalty in connection with a conviction of a title XXI offense or issues a bad check in payment of such fine or other penalty, the defendant shall be defaulted. In cases where the defendant has failed to enter a plea-by-mail with the director, the director of designee shall determine what the fine would be upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and shall impose an administrative processing fee in addition to the fine and penalty assessment and administrative fee required by RSA 262:41-a. In cases where the defendant has defaulted on a court obligation, the court shall determine what the fine would be upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and shall impose an administrative processing fee in addition to the fine and penalty assessment and administrative fee required by RSA 262:41-a. In any case, the defendant’s driving privileges shall be suspended as provided in RSA 263:56-a.

4 Duties of Clerk; Disposition of Fines. Amend RSA 502-A:8 to read as follows:

502-A:8 Duties of Clerks; Disposition of Fines. The clerk shall receive all fines and forfeitures paid into the district court from any source. The clerk of any district [or municipal] court may accept payment of the fine by credit card in lieu of cash payment. Any transaction costs assessed by the issuer of the credit card shall be paid out of the portion of the fine amount which is deposited in the general fund and not out of the administrative fee required by RSA 262:41-a or the penalty assessment charged by a district [or municipal] court. After deducting court seal, record books, printing blanks, and such other expenses as may be legally incurred in the maintenance and conduct of said court, the clerk shall, except in cases otherwise provided, pay the same over to the commissioner of administrative services, or to such department or agency of the state as the law provides, within 14 days. After deduction of expenses enumerated above, fines and forfeitures collected by the clerk for violations of municipal ordinances, codes, or regulations, except those adopted pursuant to RSA 31:39, I(g); RSA 41:11; RSA 47:17, IV, VI, VII, or VIII; and RSA 105:6-7, shall be remitted within 14 days to the treasurer of the municipality prosecuting said violations, for the use of the municipality. All expenses related to the processing of parking violations and the administrative collection of parking fines shall be the responsibility of the local unit of government, and all fines collected shall be retained in their entirety by the local unit of government.

5 Default Fees. Amend RSA 597:38-a, I to read as follows:

I. Whenever a party recognized to appear for any offense defaults, the court may impose an administrative processing fee in the amount of $50 in addition to any other fine or penalty assessment or administrative fee required by RSA 262:41-a.

6 Definition of Fine. Amend RSA 618:1, II to read as follows:

II. In this chapter, “fine” means a fine, a penalty assessment, an administrative fee required by RSA 262:41-a, or an administrative fee imposed for a default on a court appearance or a default of payment of a fine.

7 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

LBAO

08-2216

Revised 01/22/08

HB 1620 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT adding a fee to motor vehicle fines for use by law enforcement agencies.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Department of Safety, Judicial Branch, Treasury Department, New Hampshire Association of Counties and New Hampshire Municipal Association state this bill will increase state, county and local revenue and increase state expenditures by an indeterminable amount beginning in FY 2009 and each fiscal year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on county or local expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of Safety states this bill would add a $5 administrative fee to motor vehicle fines for use by law enforcement agencies. The Department of Safety estimates that 2,000 plea-by-mails (PBM) motor vehicle fines are processed by the Department weekly. Therefore, the estimated annual increase in general fund revenue would be $520,000 ($5 x 2,000 pleas-by-mail x 52 weeks) for FY 2009 through FY 2012. This annual amount would be available for distribution to each level of law enforcement agencies; state, county and local. The department cannot estimate the amount that would be distributed to each level of law enforcement agency.

    The Department of Safety indicates that the cost to make computer programming changes to the financial responsibility software in order to account for these funds for distribution to law enforcement agencies is $43,750 (250 hours @ $175 per hour). In addition, the cost to redesign and reprint plea-by mail forms and new fine schedules would be $80,000. The Department states that to maintain records and handle correspondence, a new cash terminal operator I position will be needed. It is estimated that Highway fund expenditures would increase as follows: FY 2009 $162,025, FY 2010 $39,305, FY 2011 $40,665 and FY 2012 $42,255. This bill does not establish positions or contain an appropriation.

 

FY 2009

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

Salary-LG 11

$24,258

$25,155

$26,072

$27,144

Benefits

11,717

12,150

12,593

13,111

Current Expense

2,000

2,000

2,000

2,000

Programming Costs

43,750

     

Equipment

300

     

Form Redesign Costs

80,000

     

Total

$162,025

$39,305

$40,665

$42,255

      The Judicial Branch (Branch) states that this bill would add a $5 administrative fee on every fine or penalty imposed by the Branch for a violation of RSA title XXI, dealing with motor vehicles. The $5 fee would be paid by the Treasurer to the law enforcement agency issuing the summons. Based on data from the Branch’s case management system, there were 44,092 violations of title XXI for which the Branch imposed a fine or penalty in fiscal year 2007; 75% were issued by local officers, 25% by state officers. The Branch assumes no changes in the number of violations or the percentages issued by local and state officers.

      The above numbers would yield $220,460 (44,092 x $5) annually from the $5 administrative fee imposed by the bill. If all the fees were collected, $165,345 (75%) would go to local law enforcement agencies, and $55,115 (25%) would go to state agencies. Based on results from the Branch’s fine collection project, however, experience has been that 81.1% of the fines will be collected in the first year, 6.8% in the second year, 2.6% in the third year, and that 9.5% will be uncollectible. Thus, the Branch anticipates that revenues will increase based on the collection experience as shown in the table below:

 

Total

 

Collection

   
 

Fine by FY

FY 2009

FY 2010

FY 2011

FY 2012

FY 2009

$220,460

$178,793

$14,991

$5,732

 

FY 2010

$220,460

 

178,793

14,991

$5,732

FY 2011

$220,460

   

178,793

14,991

FY 2012

$220,460

     

178,793

Total

 

$178,793

$193,784

$199,516

$199,516

           

25% State

 

$44,698

$48,446

$49,879

$49,879

75% Local

 

$134,095

$145,338

$149,637

$149,637

      In addition to the fiscal impact on the revenue collection side, the Branch would be impacted on its expenditures by the administrative costs necessary to identify the source of each fine collected and to provide the information to the Treasurer so that the proper amounts can be paid to each municipality and to the state. The Branch estimates that in fiscal year 2008, preparation to implement the proposed bill would require five hours by the internal auditor at $37.48 per hour plus the benefits for a total hourly cost of $55.66 and twenty hours by an accounting support specialist at $18.17 per hour plus benefits for a total hourly cost of $26.98. These implementation costs total $817.90 ($55.66 x 5 hours = $278.30 pus $26.98 x 20 hours = $539.60).

      The Treasury Department states the Department cannot estimate the number transactions or the incremental increase to state expenditures to administer the recording and reallocation of the $5 administrative fee stated in this bill.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill establishes a $5 administrative fee on each fine or penalty imposed by the court for a motor vehicle violation which would be transferred to the law enforcement agency issuing the summons. To the extent any county sheriff’s department issued a summons for a motor vehicle violation which resulted in the imposition of a fine or penalty subject to the administrative fee, county revenues would increase by an indeterminable amount.

    The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill establishes a $5 administrative fee on each fine or penalty imposed by the court for a motor vehicle violation which would be transferred to the law enforcement agency issuing the summons. To the extent any municipal police department issued a summons for a motor vehicle violation which resulted in the imposition of a fine or penalty subject to the administrative fee, local revenues would increase by an indeterminable amount.

Links

HB1620 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB1620 Revision: 11809 Date: Jan. 1, 2008, midnight

Docket