About 3 months ago, the BMV stopped giving cities across the state free information. IN.gov now oversees that information, but they're charging $1.00 per registration request. In addition, the state won't allow the city to keep repeat offender information on file.
The city gives 30,000 parking tickets a year. Under the new policy, IN.gov will make $30,000 off Fort Wayne alone. Sandy Kennedy, Fort Wayne’s City Clerk says “I don't think it's fair to the local government. We need revenue just as bad as the state needs revenue, and by doing this they're hurting local government.”
The city is holding off on signing the IN.gov contract. They are looking for other companies that can provide the service for less. Kennedy says “The problem I have with going with the state is we pay them a dollar, but we can't keep a data file on record. If that person gets another violation, we still have to pay a dollar. “
IN.gov says they're charging for every registration to keep information safe and up to date. Robert Paglia, IN.gov Project Manager in the Office of Technology, says “It's a security reason why we do that. We're worried because this data changes very often, and we want to make sure when an entity pulls that information they're not contacting an incorrect person.”
The state says the money will go toward operating the site. Paglia says “The IN.gov portal itself does not get any appropriations, so basically no tax dollars are used to provide those services to our constituents.”
But the city clerk says she doesn't buy it. The city clerk says this is the first time the state has charged city government for parking tickets. Only 10 of IN.gov 200+ online services have fees, parking tickets just happen to be one.
Money raised though the tickets go back into the parking enforcement department's operating costs. The city clerk doesn't want to cut enforcement jobs, so raising the cost of those parking tickets is one option to make up for the loss...that means more money out of violators' pockets.