7/2/2007New York City Takes $720 Million from Motorists
Parking and red light camera revenue brings $720 million in annual revenue to New York City, New York.
New York City, New York collects almost three-quarters of a billion dollars from motorists every year, according to the Fiscal Year 2008 budget it issued last month. The city expects to bill motorists $26 million through its red light camera program. Proponents of photo ticketing argue that the cameras cause an improvement in behavior over time that reduces the amount of money collected. Nonetheless, fourteen years after the program began, the system is collecting more cash than ever.
Revised 2007 fiscal year projections show meter maids have also been working overtime to meet the expectations of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I). The city pocketed $580,243,943 from parking tickets and $114,183,000 from parking meters.
Despite the $720 million windfall, Mayor Bloomberg continues to urge the legislature to approve his proposal to charge an $8 tax not only on those who drive into downtown Manhattan, but also those who leave the downtown area between 6am and 6pm. A Quinnipiac University poll of 1018 New York City voters conducted in May found that opposition to Bloomberg's proposal ran 56-37 percent. An average of 65 percent of voters in the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were against the plan. Based on London's experience, the $8 charge would double to $16 soon after the program became firmly established.