The Guthrie city council unanimously voted to raise court costs and added a technology fee to citations.
On Tuesday, council members amended Ordinance No. 3309 to increase the court costs in municipal court from $21 to $30 if a judgement of conviction is entered.
The increase is expected to generate approximately $22,500 in revenue a year.
“This puts us in line with the surrounding communities,” Mayor Steve Gentling said. “Now we’re catching up.”
In addition, the state of Oklahoma has notified the City that the fee that they collect through municipal court will also be increasing. The City says this is a pass-thru fee and not a revenue generator. The state currently collects $19 for Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) Program and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) for their Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and Forensic and Laboratory Analysis Program.
City Clerk Kim Biggs informed the council the ordinance clarifies that court costs and fees are in addition to the fine amount and will generate approximately $52,500 in revenue.
The ordinance also establishes a Technology Fee that will be assessed on every citation disposed in the municipal court, except those that are voided, declined for prosecution, dismissed without costs, or the defendant is acquitted. The revenue generated by this fee will be used for technological maintenance and improvements for the City.
The fee will generate approximately $62,500 in revenue.
In total, the amendment is expected to generate $137,500 for the City.
Biggs added that the court clerk is allowed to file a claim with the Oklahoma Tax Commission to collect any unpaid fines, costs or fees which exceed the sum of $50 by any individual and deduct from their state income tax refund.