Side ef­fects loom if Iowa adopts traf­fic cam­era ban

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

CEDAR RAPIDS:

A ban on traf­fic en­force­ment cam­eras could have side ef­fects for Iowa ci­ties that rely on the tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing Cedar Rapids, which has the most ro­bust cam­era pro­gram in the state. The specter of a ban has prompted Cedar Rapids City Man­ager Jeff Pomer­anz to not count on the $3 mil­lion to $3.5 mil­lion in an­nual rev­enue from speed and red light cam­eras in the city’s fis­cal 2018 gen­eral fund bud­get, which will be adopted by City Coun­cil in March and starts July 1, 2017.

“In or­der to be cau­tious we are go­ing to ex­clude that rev­enue,” Pomer­anz said. “The last thing we want to do is have the City Coun­cil ap­prove a bud­get that is sev­eral mil­lion dol­lars short.” The gen­eral fund pays for var­i­ous city ser­vices and staff, such as po­lice, fire, li­brary, streets and garbage col­lec­tion, while gen­er­at­ing money from prop­erty taxes, which Pomer­anz said won’t be in­creased. To­tal prop­erty tax rev­enue won’t be known for an­other month, so how to off­set lost traf­fic cam­era rev­enue re­mains up in the air, Pomer­anz said.

Bud­get­ing is just one of the pos­si­ble rip­ple ef­fects should state law­mak­ers ban traf­fic cam­eras. Traf­fic safety, pend­ing law­suits and ticket re­funds could also crop up as is­sues. State Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Ur­ban­dale, chair­man of the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, told the Quad-City Times he ex­pects leg­is­la­tion to ban traf­fic cam­eras to clear the House and Se­nate next month and then land on Gov. Terry Branstad’s desk. —AP

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