MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A new scaled-down traffic ticket surcharge has been approved for Nassau County residents, despite facing potential objections from the county’s financial watchdog group.

On Monday, Nassau County legislators voted to approve the additional $55 traffic violation fee, which is significantly less than the $105 fee originally proposed, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.

Legislators hope the new fee will raise up to $30 million annually to help fill a projected budget gap.

The fee still needs the approval of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority. According to Newsday, NIFA has expressed concerns over the proposed legislation and is ready to potentially reject the budget at their meeting at the end of November.

“Taxpayers, we have too many people who are leaving here, too many people who are finding it hard to find affordable housing,” one Nassau County resident told WCBS 880. “We have residents who are fighting the FEMA clawback and to continue to keep dipping in pockets — I have a problem with that.”

AAA Club representative Alex Slatky says people shouldn’t be comforted for fooled by the reduced fee.

“The fee right now is $0, they’re adding $55,” Slatky said. “So any rhetoric that they’re lowering the fee is just a runaround.”

Democratic legislative minority leader Kevan Abrahams has called the fee an “illegal motorist tax” that would drive families out of Nassau.

“Say for example, you go though a red light camera. You would pay a $50 ticket and $45 dollar administrative fee. With this additional $55 dollars it would be $150 dollars. So you are still talking about a very hefty, hefty fine,” Abrahams said in an earlier interview.

The public safety fee was initially introduced as part of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s 2017 budget proposal.

 

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