St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Legislature: Legislators give GOP donor exemption
  • Seen any crabs in the mood?
  • In judging Florida, teachers do the salary math
  • Graham jumps into fray over medical cuts
  • Legislature: Senate: Give Glades cleanup 10 more years
  • Orange may vanish from auto tags
  • Legislature: House rejects Bush's bid for revote on bullet train
  • Legislature: Gambling ship operators offer tax deal
  • Legislature: Panel approves hikes in fees, fines
  • Stranded pilot whales improving

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
    Print story Subscribe to the Times


    Panel approves hikes in fees, fines

    Starting in October, the state would hit up traffic violators and out-of-state hunters for extra money.

    ©Associated Press
    April 23, 2003

    TALLAHASSEE -- Drivers should face higher fines for traffic violations and out-of-state hunters should pay more for their licenses, a House panel said Tuesday.

    "I'm going to bring us some money today with this bill," Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, told the Finance and Tax Committee.

    The committee unanimously approved his legislation (CS-HB 189), which would increase the fine for a nonmoving traffic violation by $10 and a moving violation by $25.

    Civil penalties already assessed for traffic infractions vary around the state.

    The measure, which has cleared two other committees, also imposes a $500 fine for criminal offenses, such as reckless or drunken driving or leaving the scene of an accident. Drivers would have to pay an extra $50 to get a suspended or revoked license reinstated.

    The higher fines, which would be imposed starting in October, would raise an estimated $59-million in the fiscal year that starts in July. The revenue expected annually after that would climb to $118-million.

    A similar Senate bill (SB 1456) was unanimously approved Tuesday in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

    Another bill approved Tuesday in the House Finance and Tax Committee would increase license fees for out-of-state hunters.

    Rep. Dennis Baxley, the sponsor, said some of the fees have not been changed in decades. The bill would raise 10-day hunting licenses for nonresidents from $20 to $45 and annual turkey permits for nonresidents from $5 to $100.

    "These user fee adjustments are long overdue," Baxley, R-Ocala, said.

    Rep. Nan Rich, D-Weston, said some of the Democrats were "having a problem with consistency," a reference to the insistence of Republican leaders in the House that Florida should "live within its means" and doesn't have to find more money to pay for programs and services.

    Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs, said he had "no problem at all" with making it more expensive for people from other states to hunt in Florida.

    The panel approved the bill (CS-HB 1063) 23-1. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Lauderdale, cast the dissenting vote. An identical Senate bill (CS-SB 372) is awaiting floor action.

    The House committee also approved a bill that would let voters in the Keys and other areas identified as being of "critical state concern" to approve a fee on the sale of homes above $250,000.

    Other areas include the Green Swamp in central Florida, Big Cypress Swamp in South Florida and the city of Apalachicola in the Panhandle.

    The fee would be 1 percent of the sale price. Homes selling for more than $2-million would incur a 2 percent fee and the extra funding could be used for sewer and water projects, affordable housing and environmental land.

    The committee approved the bill on a vote of 23-1 with Johnson casting the dissenting vote.

    Print story Subscribe to the Times

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan

    From the Times state desk