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Ohio's New Bill to Target 'Speed Traps' Could Hurt the State's Tiny Communities

The city of Linndale and other Ohio villages were forced to abolish their mayor's courts years ago after state lawmakers passed a bill to end them in villages of less than 200 people.
The city of Linndale and other Ohio villages were forced to abolish their mayor's courts years ago after state lawmakers passed a bill to end them in villages of less than 200 people.
The city of Linndale and other Ohio villages were forced to abolish their mayor's courts years ago after state lawmakers passed a bill to end them in villages of less than 200 people.
Credit FLICKR CC
The city of Linndale and other Ohio villages were forced to abolish their mayor's courts years ago after state lawmakers passed a bill to end them in villages of less than 200 people.

Advocates for Ohio’s smallest communities say state lawmakers should slow down before passing a bill that limits how much they can collect in traffic fines.

H.B. 125, which passed the House unanimously, would cap fines collected by villages of fewer than 200 people. They can be no more than municipal courts would charge for similar violations.

Kent Scarrett of the Ohio Municipal League says many villages like Linndale in Northeast Ohio and Brice in Central Ohio have few financial options because of state budget cuts.

“It’s a difficult ebb and flow that the Legislature has been providing our members on what they can do and what they can’t do while they continue to take resources away from us. They tell us to do more, and you just can’t.”

Scarrett says lost revenue includes ending the estate tax and significant cuts to the Local Government Fund.

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