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Why are surcharges on some NY traffic tickets higher than the fine?

Pete Tanner was driving into Auburn and lost track of how fast he was going.

"Next thing I know, I see the lights in the rear view mirror," said Tanner.

Tanner got a ticket and pled guilty by mail. He received a bill for a $45 dollar fine and an $88 dollar New York State mandated surcharge.

"It's ridiculous - I said to my wife, the surcharge is almost double the fine," said Tanner.

CNYCentral asked the state budget office to breakdown what does the state does with every $88 surcharge they collect.

In an e-mail, the budget office said $28 goes to the general fund, $55 goes to the fund that pays for court appointed attorneys - but after that program collects its yearly budget - the rest goes into the general fund. Just $5 goes into the crime victims assistance fund.

Attorney Mary Felasco specializes in traffic violations. She says what used to be simple speeding tickets have become a major source of revenue for New York State.

"They've been steadily raising these surcharges and certainly people that don't have a lot of money are paying if they don't get an attorney or they don't get the ticket reduced."---{>}

Pete Tanner says he will watch his speed but hopes New York State lawmakers will watch their spending.

"If Auburn wrote a thousand tickets a year, that's $88 thousand dollars a year just from the city of Auburn," said Tanner.

In New York State, if you get multiple tickets during one traffic stop, each one will have separate surcharges.

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