Some red light cameras will do double-duty as speeder catchers. (Contributed)

B.C. cities brace for possible drop in traffic fine revenue

Province wants to discuss revenue-sharing agreement as traffic enforcement expected to improve

The province and the Union of B.C. Municipalities are set to discuss how they will share the increased fine revenue set to come in from upgrades to red-light cameras and electronic ticketing.

Surrey Coun. Bruce Hayne, who sits on the UBCM executive, said the province told the organization it was looking to amend how the revenues are shared, aiming to have a new agreement signed by the end of spring.

In its letter dated Wednesday, Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson cited the “ongoing expansion of automated traffic enforcement,” including the new red-light cameras used to catch speeders.

Announced in March, the “intersection camera system” will be able to issue speeding tickets automatically, as well as tickets for running a red light.

READ: B.C. upgrades red light cameras to catch speeders

Additional, police in Vancouver and Delta have been testing out new electronic tickets in the past couple of months that allow them to simply swipe a driver’s licence to log all of the information.

Currently, the province collects the fines and redistributes between $50-60 million to municipalities of more than 5,000 people. That amounts to the net revenue, minus any administrative costs. Smaller cities get a refund through a reduction in the police tax.

“Municipalities don’t have much in the way of tools to negotiate,” Hayne said. “I guess what I’m saying is that at the end of the day the province will tell us what the deal will be.”

He did say the NDP government has been “very collaborative” so far, and hoped the outcome won’t cut into one of the few revenue sources cities have. Currently, most of the money cities are able to raise come from property taxes.

Raising those is never popular, he said, but municipalities could be forced to do so if traffic fine revenue drops.

“We know that policing costs are going up on a yearly basis,” Hayne said.

“All of the protective services for anything to do with cannabis legalization?” he added. “That’s going to fall on local government.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

7 Mile Landfill operations tender closes October

Taxes covering the landfill have not increased over the past 15 years and are not expected to soon.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

NorthIsle starts drilling in Pemberton Hills area after negotiating deal with Freeport

Mining industry one step closer to a revitalization after farm-out agreement

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Port Hardy municipal election candidate Fred Robertson’s profile

Incumbent Robertson said he will “work toward maintaining our existing facilities.”

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read