The Fee Trap

A line up of people waiting to enter a courtroom.

The Fee Trap: Court costs and fines put burden on those least able to pay

BY: - September 14, 2023

During a lunch break last May, Kevin Jackson was driving in Northport when a car in front of him collided with another vehicle. Jackson, who said he was not involved in the collision, got pulled over by a police officer, who alleged that Jackson was fleeing the scene. “I was on my lunch break, and […]

A person stares through a glass window with lettering saying it's for vehicle registration.

The Fee Trap: With pistol permit revenue falling, sheriffs and counties turn to other charges

BY: - September 13, 2023

Few people renewing their vehicle registration fees in Talladega County on Aug. 31 knew the cost had gone up. There’s a new $2 fee on car tags in the county, thanks to a law that passed the Legislature this spring.  It won’t fund a new program. It will offset the local sheriff’s financial losses from […]

People in line to pay tag fees.

The Fee Trap: Why Alabama’s local governments can’t shake fines and charges

BY: - September 12, 2023

When Alabama needs to pay for services, it turns to fees and general charges, or fines and fees in the criminal justice system. Legislators passed almost 60 bills during this spring’s legislative session directing how local governments may raise revenues or spend money. Many generated money for counties, from fundraising events and lodging taxes to […]