Credit agency: Declining Ticket Income with End of NJ’s red light camera pilot program is a ‘credit negative’ for towns
DECEMBER 19, 2014, 1:15 PM LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2014, 3:50 PM
BY MELISSA HAYES
STATE HO– USE BUREAU |
A Wall Street credit ratings agency called the end of the state’s five-year red light traffic ticket pilot program a “credit negative” for preventing local governments from implementing new revenue streams.
The controversial cameras, which allow municipalities to mail tickets to motorists who run red lights, generated millions in revenue for the 25 municipalities that installed them, including several in North Jersey.
Moody’s analyzed the end of the program in its weekly credit outlook report released Friday. The credit ratings agency said the New Jersey legislature could have acted to renew the program, which ended on Tuesday. Moody’s also took issue with New York legislators repealing a law authorizing the use of speed cameras near schools in Nassau County.
The “credit negative” designation is an analysis of an event and differs from a credit downgrade, which could affect the state’s ability to borrow money.
“These developments are credit negative because they further constrain governments’ ability to implement new revenue streams at a time when these governments are facing property tax limits, uneven sales tax growth and anti-tax sentiment,” the weekly credit outlook said.