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Breaking Down the Cost of Jaywalking: Where Does Money from a $190 Ticket Go?

By David Markland and Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, at 01:59PM
Jaywalking Fees Breakdown blogdowntown

Where does the money from a $190 jaywalking ticket go? Most goes to the State of California, while the City of Los Angeles receives $22.54.

Talk of jaywalking tickets swept the media in recent weeks after the Downtown News reported that LAPD intended to increase enforcement during the holiday season.

Most eye-catching was the infraction's $190 fine. Many commenters accused the city of making a money grab and using the citations to raise end-of-the-year revenue.

In reality, the city has very little control over the cost of the ticket and receives less than 12 percent of the revenue collected.

The Ticket

The ticket handed out for jaywalking actually only carries with it a $25 base fine. It's when penalties and assessments are added in that the cost begins to skyrocket. These extra expenses fund a variety of state and county programs, ranging from courthouse construction to DNA identification.

Where Does the Money Go?

Of that final $190 bail total, only $22.54 goes to the City of Los Angeles according to data provided by the Los Angeles Superior Court. $28.42 goes to the County of Los Angeles, while the State of California receives $139.04.

According to Rex Olliff, a finance specialist who works under the city's Chief Administrative Officer, Miguel Santana, Los Angeles will collect approximately $13.2 million from citation revenue in this fiscal year. $4.7 million will be spent on street services, $7.5 million will go to transportation needs such as traffic signs and control devices, while the rest will go to special transportation projects.

Where the money doesn't go is LAPD. "It doesn't pay the officers salaries who issue the tickets, for example," Olliff noted.

Still, that's likely little comfort to a Downtowner hit with a hefty fine.

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