Mangano budget would raise fees on traffic tickets

Nassau County wants to add more fees to tickets issued by red-light cameras and police officers.
"The extra fees that they're putting on, it's ridiculous," says Arthur Samos, who lives in Floral Park. "It's one way of getting more money for the county."
Democrats say the county faces a projected $180 million deficit next year. Republican County Executive Ed Mangano says increasing the $55 fee on traffic and camera tickets will raise $35 million. Lawmakers have not decided on how much to hike it.
But taxpayers say the current $55 fee is already too high.
Democrat Kevan Abrahams, the minority leader of the Nassau County Legislature, says raising the fee is a "backdoor tax."
"These fees are not tied to services," he says. "They're not enhancing police. They're not hiring more police officers. We're not reducing overtime. We're not doing anything with these fees."
And Alec Slatky, a spokesman for AAA, is urging lawmakers to reject the fee hike as well.
"I think it has a negative impact on traffic safety, because when you make traffic enforcement about balancing the budget that makes people less inclined to support genuine safety measures," he says. "So this really diminishes the traffic safety culture."
Nassau taxpayers will get a chance to weigh in on the proposed fee hikes at several public hearings later this month. The budget must be approved by Oct. 31.