Fines are not Taxes

Source: Heartland Institute
by Daniel Sutter

“Policing for revenue leads predictably to injustice. One element of injustice is denying those wrongfully accused of violating the rules of proper social conduct their day in court. Beyond this, revenue is mostly readily generated when people do not contest fines. This means targeting those unable to afford to take time off work or hire a lawyer to defend themselves; the poor and minorities bear much of the burden of taxation by citation, as they do with civil asset forfeiture. One disappointing thing I learned researching this column is the role of consultants in encouraging cities to view fines as a revenue source.” (09/28/21)