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Pa. Officials Propose No Car Registration If Owner Owes Court Money

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – As Pennsylvania state lawmakers debate how to balance the state budget and fill a $4-billion hole, two members of the legislature from Northeast Philadelphia have come up with proposed legislation that would help chip away at the state deficit.

State senator Mike Stack wants to put the brakes on a car registration renewal until the owner has paid all outstanding liabilities arising out of certain court proceedings.

“It’s an incentive to pay these outstanding  fees,” says Stack (center of photo, in blue necktie), who notes that there are about $1.6 billion in unpaid fines, fees, and penalties owed to courts across the Commonwealth.  Philadelphia Municipal Court and Philadelphia Common Pleas courts alone are owed more than $376 million, he said.

State Rep. John Sabatina (right) says considering the state deficit, the Commonwealth really could use the money it would collect.

“This is not a tax.  It’s fines and fees already ordered by a judge that just need to be collected,” he says.

Stack says that even if they collected half of what’s owed, that’s $800,000 that could be used to cut the deficit without raising taxes.

Pennsylvania state Supreme Court justice Seamus McCaffery (at left in photo) says that even if they only get 20 percent of the outstanding court fees, it’s a step in the right direction.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • Lou

    How about you raise the state car registration fee from $36 to $50 and raise the other vehicle registrations fee’s accordingly. Since PA has the nations worst roads and bridge, this would be a good way to fund construction projects as well as help to fill in the budget hole.

  • The voice of reason

    Just a thought, do they really think this will get people to pay up? No, now we will have increased amounts of unregistered and uninsured vehicles on our highways. Maybe just maybe, they should start issuing arrest warrants for these people, and hold the police accountable when they let these people go. I have seen many times where a city cop has not pulled over a vehicle with no inspection stickers, invalid tags or even no license plate at all. I can see it and I am not trained or looking for it, so I ask again, how will this help? It wont. Cut waste from the top down, starting in the Govs. office and work down. You do not spend more then the state takes in, simple economics. If you cant afford it, you should not be spending it. For too long have we borrowed our way through life and now its time to pay the piper. Education should be the last item on the chopping block. IMO

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