City Applauds Province Suspending Vehicle Search Fee
The Mid-Sized Cities Mayors’ Caucus recently sent a joint letter opposing the levy, which had been set to take effect in September.
“This reversal demonstrates the importance of municipalities speaking out when legislation is going to be detrimental to their operations,” says Mayor Given. “In this case, the search fee was going to hit the taxpayer, not the law breaker.”
The fee related to provincial traffic law infractions was projected to have a $175,000 impact at the City of Grande Prairie and would have been borne by taxpayers.
The City had begun the process of increasing parking fines to offset the impact of the search fee since these are under municipal jurisdiction. These discussions will be suspended.Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Service Alberta, stated that any future search fee increases may be considered in consultation as part of the 2012-13 Budget Review Process.The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, individual municipalities and law enforcement agencies also lobbied the government to eliminate the new fee.
“This is good news,” Mayor Given says. “In our case, we have a three-year budget cycle and significant cost increases such as this one would have a serious impact.”