Study Finds Tennessee Collects $38M in Court Fines, Fees Each Year

Tennessee flag on pole

A new report from The Sycamore Institute shows Tennessee collects nearly $38 million annually in fines and fees through the criminal justice system, while county governments are collecting a shrinking amount in fines and fees.

While the Tennessee Department of Revenue reports its collections of fines and fees annually, other agencies, such as the Department of Correction, the Department of Safety & Homeland Security and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, do not report detailed information on their collections.

The Sycamore Institute study found 360 fees and fines authorized in Tennessee law, from being charged with a crime to civil asset forfeiture to incarceration costs.

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University System of Georgia Board Freezes Tuition, Fees

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Students at Georgia’s public universities and colleges will pay the same amount in tuition and fees during the next academic year.

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) voted this month to freeze the rates for the second consecutive year. It is the fourth time in six years the USG board has not raised tuition rates.

“USG over the past several years has remained committed to making public higher education as affordable as possible for students and their families, while maintaining results that rank our campuses among some of the best in the nation,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “We are grateful for the support of the board and state leaders toward this priority, and recognize students’ hard work, especially over the past year, to maintain success toward graduating and entering Georgia’s workforce with college degrees.”

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Gas Tax Increase, Budget Cuts Give Ohio $2 Billion for Road Projects

Ohio Department of Transportation worker

Despite traffic on state highways, roads and bridges decreasing significantly in 2020, the Ohio Department of Transportation expects to spend nearly $2 billion in the next year on nearly 1,000 projects.

Traffic volume fell by 15.5% during the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic limited road travel, ODOT said. More people worked from home. Stay-at-home health orders, capacity limits, business closures and statewide curfews also reigned in optional travel.

Despite the limited driving, which also leads to less fuel consumption and less taxpayer money available, ODOT pointed to a 2019 gas tax increase, along with budget cuts, for staving off what could have billon a $3 billion swing in taxpayer money for the department.

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