(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) released the following statement upon introducing Assembly Bill 1980 to repeal the automatic 20% tax on traffic tickets imposed by the state:
“During a time of fiscal uncertainty nearly two decades ago, the state imposed a 20% tax on traffic tickets and devoted the funding to prop up the General Fund. At the time, the state promised this was a temporary measure, but to the surprise of no one eventually made the tax permanent just a few years later.
“The State Auditor has repeatedly recommended this tax be eliminated. The revenue does not support law enforcement or any specific public safety program. Instead, the funds are up for grabs every year to spend with no accountability to the public. This tax amounts to nearly $40 million per year stolen from taxpayers without explanation.
“I introduced a similar bill last year in partnership with Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse who knows this tax has nothing to do with improving safety on our roads. We received the support of law enforcement groups like the Peace Officers’ Research Association and criminal justice groups like Restore Justice and the ACLU.
“All sides agree this tax is unjust, indefensible, and long overdue for repeal.
“This year we will redouble our efforts, and with Governor Newsom indicating his support for reforms like this in the budget, I am confident we will succeed.”