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Penalty Assement Funds, California State Auditor, 2018

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April 2018

Penalty Assessment Funds
California’s Traffic Penalties and Fees Provide
Inconsistent Funding for State and County Programs
and Have a Significant Financial Impact on Drivers
Report 2017-126

COMMITMENT
INTEGRITY

LEADERSHIP

CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200 | Sacramento | CA | 95814

916.445.0255 | TTY 916.445.0033

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For questions regarding the contents of this report, please contact Margarita Fernández, Chief of Public Affairs, at 916.445.0255
This report is also available online at www.auditor.ca.gov | Alternate format reports available upon request | Permission is granted to reproduce reports

Elaine M. Howle State Auditor

April 26, 2018	

2017-126

The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:
As requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the California State Auditor presents
this audit report concerning the funds that the State and local governments receive from the
penalties assessed pursuant to specified Government and Penal Code sections (penalties and fees).
This report concludes that California’s current approach to funding state and county programs
through penalties and fees from criminal and traffic violations has proven problematic both for
the programs that rely on those funds and for drivers who receive costly citations. Specifically,
penalties and fees intended to help pay for various programs were added to state law in a piecemeal
fashion over time, and the resulting revenue has been inconsistent. Although these penalties
and fees generate more than $450 million annually for numerous state funds, the revenue is
derived from penalty and fee amounts that do not appear to be based on the needs of the funded
programs. Further, the revenue collected from penalties and fees is trending downward, creating
challenges for many of the programs that rely on this revenue to provide services. For example,
penalty and fee revenues for state funds have decreased by 14 percent to 25 percent over the last
three years. Many of these funds rely on penalties for 50 percent or more of their annual revenue.
These penalties and fees also create a financial burden on drivers, particularly low-income
individuals who may be unable to pay them. In fact, the cost of certain traffic offenses increase
six-fold after the penalties and fees are included. Further, many of the penalties are paying for
programs that are not directly related to the traffic offenses for which they are incurred. To
address the problematic nature of the current funding approach, the Legislature would need
to make public policy decisions about whether and to what extent to fund the programs currently
receiving penalty and fee revenue. We provide recommendations of possible approaches to
address the concerns we identified.
Respectfully submitted,

ELAINE M. HOWLE, CPA
State Auditor

621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200

S a c r a m e n t o, C A 9 5 8 1 4

916.445.0255

916.327.0019 fax

w w w. a u d i t o r. c a . g o v

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Selected Abbreviations Used in This Report
EMAT

emergency medical air transportation

LAO

Legislative Analyst’s Office

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April 2018

Contents
Summary	1
Introduction	3
Audit Results	
No Systematic Strategy Guides the State’s Use of Penalties and
Fees to Fund State and Local Programs, and the High Cost Has
Burdened Drivers 	

15

Recommendations	25
Appendix	
Revenue, Expenditures, and Year‑End Fund Balances of State
and County Funds That Receive Penalty and Fee Revenue 	

27

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Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

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April 2018

Summary
Results in Brief

Audit Highlights . . .

California’s current approach to funding state and county programs
through penalties and fees from criminal and traffic violations
has proven problematic both for the programs that rely on those
funds and for drivers who receive costly citations. Although our
report focuses on traffic violations, the state laws that impose the
various penalties and fees on traffic violations apply to all criminal
violations as well. The State and the county entities we reviewed
distributed the penalty and fee revenue to the appropriate funds
during the months we reviewed, and they ultimately spent the
money for allowable purposes; however, the State’s approach lacks
a systematic strategy. Specifically, penalties and fees intended
to help pay for various programs were added to state law in a
piecemeal fashion over time, and the resulting revenue has been
inconsistent. These penalties and fees also create a financial burden
for drivers, particularly low‑income individuals who may miss
payments and thus may face additional fines. The Legislature should
reconsider the entire penalty and fee structure (criminal and traffic),
decide whether to adjust or eliminate penalty and fee amounts,
and whether to distribute the resulting revenue differently.

Our review of the revenue received from
penalties and fees state laws impose on
criminal and traffic violations highlighted
the following:

Although these penalties and fees currently generate more than
$450 million annually for numerous state funds, the revenue
is derived from penalty and fee amounts that do not appear to
be based on the needs of the programs. This makes it unclear
whether the amount of revenue is sufficient to fund the service or
program for which it is collected. Further, the revenue collected
from penalties and fees is trending downward, creating challenges
for many of the programs that rely on this revenue to provide
services. For example, penalty and fee revenues for state funds have
decreased by 14 percent to 25 percent over the last three years as
the number of criminal cases filed has decreased and as more fines,
penalties, and fees have gone unpaid.
Penalties and fees added to traffic fines have gone unpaid partially
because they are a significant financial burden for the driving
public, especially low‑income individuals. Traffic infractions that
carry a base fine of $35 can cost an individual $237 after penalties
and fees are included. Until recently, those who did not pay their
fines and penalties may also have had their licenses suspended.
According to the Legislature, these penalties are regressive in that
they are particularly harmful to individuals who can least afford to
pay high fines.

»» Penalties and fees intended to help pay
for various programs were added to state
law in a piecemeal fashion over time and
revenue has been inconsistent.
»» Revenue generated is derived from
penalty and fee amounts that do not
appear to be based on the needs of the
programs and is trending downward,
creating a challenge for many of the
programs that rely on this revenue.
»» Penalties and fees added to traffic fines
have gone unpaid partially because
they are a significant financial burden
for the driving public, especially
low‑income individuals.
»» Many penalties are paying for programs
that are not directly connected to
the offense.

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In addition, many of the penalties are paying for programs that are
not directly connected to the offense. While an individual cited
for an offense, such as failing to stop at a stop sign, will pay some
penalties that support court‑related programs, he or she will also
pay other penalties that fund emergency medical air transportation
and DNA identification services, neither of which is related to the
failure to stop except in very specific circumstances.
Pending legislation would address the significant costs to
indigent individuals by requiring judges to reduce the amount
those individuals must pay in certain cases. However, these changes
could also further reduce revenue from penalties. Thus, additional
action needs to be taken to address the State’s approach of using
penalty and fee revenue to fund programs.
Selected Recommendations
Legislature
To ensure consistent funding streams for state and county
programs, the Legislature should consider whether, and to what
extent, to fund the programs that currently receive penalty and fee
revenue from criminal and traffic violations. The Legislature could
adjust or eliminate individual penalties and fees by considering the
following factors identified in our report:
•	 Revenue trends and reliability of penalties and fees as
funding sources.
•	 The significant financial impact of penalties and fees on
low‑income individuals.
•	 How well aligned the uses of penalty and fee revenues are with
the offenses that give rise to the penalty or fee.
•	 The seemingly arbitrary amount of the penalty or fee.

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April 2018

Introduction
Background
As an approach to generating revenue for state and county programs,
the Legislature has established in several sections of state law
numerous financial penalties and fees that are levied on criminal
and public offenses, including violations of the Vehicle Code.1
Violations of the Vehicle Code are also referred to as traffic violations.
Our review focused on penalties and fees resulting from traffic
violations—those penalties and fees that are added to traffic tickets.2
However, the data for penalty and fee revenue that the State collects,
and that we reviewed, are an aggregate of all criminal penalties and
fees, including those added to traffic and nontraffic violations.
These penalties and fees currently generate more than $450 million
annually. According to data available from the Judicial Council
of California (Judicial Council), traffic cases comprised the large
majority—approximately 82 percent on average—of all criminal case
filings in the State from fiscal years 2014–15 through 2015–16.3 As
such, we used the State’s penalty and fee data for our analysis.
An individual who receives a citation for a traffic
violation is assessed an amount that consists of a
Definitions of Key Terms
base fine plus several penalties and fees, as defined
in the text box. The base fine depends on the type of
Base Fine:  A monetary sanction imposed in criminal cases
violation. Traffic violations fall into three categories:
as set forth in state law. The maximum base fine varies from
infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Traffic
violation to violation.
infractions are generally minor offenses not
Penalty or Surcharge:  An amount added to the base
punishable by time in jail but by a base fine of up to
fine and imposed as part of the monetary punishment for
$100, and they include offenses such as speeding or
a crime.
failing to stop at a stop sign. State law requires the
Fee or Assessment:  An amount added to the base fine
Judicial Council to establish a uniform traffic
that is imposed for cost‑recovery purposes, such as covering
penalty schedule for all nonparking infractions of
the cost of court operations in processing a case. Fees are
the Vehicle Code unless a judge in a particular case
intended to be used for specific purposes.
specifies a different penalty. Traffic misdemeanors
Source:  Judicial Council’s 2016 white paper on the Structure and
are offenses punishable by imprisonment in a
Collection of Criminal Fines and Fees.
county jail, a base fine of up to $1,000, or both.
This type of violation includes driving under the
influence of alcohol and/or drugs and reckless
driving. Lastly, traffic felonies are generally serious offenses
punishable by imprisonment, a base fine of no less than $1,000 and
up to $10,000, or both. An example of a traffic felony is the failure
of an individual to stop his or her vehicle after being involved in an
accident resulting in injury or death to another person.
1	

We explain violations of the Vehicle Code in more detail in the Scope and Methodology section
beginning on page 10.

2	

The penalties and fees that we reviewed are not imposed on parking tickets.

3	

The Judicial Council incorporated traffic and nontraffic infractions into its data on criminal
case filings.

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In addition to the base fine, state law imposes further penalties,
surcharges, and fees on individuals cited for traffic violations.
Many of the penalties we reviewed are calculated as a certain dollar
amount per every increment of $10, or any part of $10, of the base
fine. Figure 1 shows an example calculation for a $35 base fine
and a penalty set at $10. As Table 1 demonstrates, many penalties
have amounts that range from $1 to $10 per $10 of the base fine.
Furthermore, the fees we reviewed are a set amount per conviction,
and the state surcharge is calculated as a percentage of the total
base fine used to calculate the state penalty.
Figure 1
Some Penalties Are Calculated Based on Increments of the Base Fine

Increments of $10
or
Part of $10








BASE FINE




INCREMENTS





PENALTY FOR EVERY
INCREMENT OF $10
OR PART OF $10


 PENALTY
ADDED TO
THE BASE FINE

Source:  California State Auditor’s analysis of state law.

Table 1 also identifies the administering agencies responsible for
overseeing the spending of revenue from the funds associated with
the penalties we reviewed, the code and section that established the
penalty or fee, and the respective fund into which the penalty or
fee must be deposited. These funds support various state and local
government programs and services. For the $7 county penalty,
each county’s board of supervisors has determined by resolution
the proportion of the revenue to be deposited into specific county
funds. The base fines are generally transferred to specific funds
within the local jurisdiction where the violation occurred. We
discuss the different types of programs that these funds help pay
for in more detail later in this report.

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Table 1
The Numerous Penalties and Fees Imposed on All Traffic Violations Are Distributed Into Many State and County Funds

FUND

ADMINISTERING AGENCY

AMOUNT ($)

State Penalty Fund

California Governor’s Office of
Emergency Services (Cal OES)

Penal Code (PC) 1464

$10 for every $10
or part of $10

Fish and Game
Preservation Fund

California Department of Fish
and Wildlife

PC 1464 (f)(1)

0.33%

Restitution Fund

California Victim
Compensation Board

PC 1464 (f)(2)

32.02%

Peace Officers’
Training Fund

Commission on Peace Officer
Standards and Training

PC 1464 (f)(3)

23.99%

Driver Training Penalty
Assessment Fund

California Department
of Education

PC 1464 (f)(4)

25.70%

Corrections Training
Fund

Board of State and
Community Corrections

PC 1464(f)(5)

7.88%

Local Public
Prosecutors and Public
Defenders Training
Fund

Cal OES

PC 1464(f)(6)

0.78% up to
$850,000

Victim-Witness
Assistance Fund

Cal OES

PC 1464 (f)(7)

8.64%

Traumatic Brain
Injury Fund

Department of Rehabilitation

PC 1464 (f)(8)(A)

0.66%

County Penalty

Various

County

Government Code
(GC) 76000

$7 for every $10
or part of $10

DNA Penalty (county)†

DNA Identification
Fund (county)

County

GC 76104.6 (a)(1)

$1 for every $10
or part of $10

DNA Penalty (state)

DNA Identification
Fund (state)

California Department
of Justice (DOJ)

GC 76104.7 (a)

$4 for every $10
or part of $10

Emergency Medical Air
Transportation (EMAT)
Penalty

EMAT Act Fund

Department of Health Care
Services

GC 76000.10 (c)(1)

$4 per conviction

Emergency Medical Services
(EMS) Penalty

Maddy EMS Fund
(county)

County

GC 76000.5

$2 for every $10
or part of $10

State Court
Construction Penalty

Immediate and Critical
Needs Account/
State Court Facilities
Construction Fund

Judicial Council

GC 70372

$5 for every $10
or part of $10

Criminal Conviction
Assessment

Immediate and Critical
Needs Account

Judicial Council

GC 70373

$30 per felony or
misdemeanor/$35
per infraction

Court Operations
Assessment

Trial Court Trust Fund

Judicial Council

PC 1465.8

$40 per conviction

State Surcharge

State General Fund

State

PC 1465.7

20% of base fine

ALL REVENUE
FROM THE
STATE PENALTY
TRANSFERS TO
THESE FUNDS

THESE PERCENTAGES ADD UP TO 100% OF THE $10 STATE PENALTY

PENALTY/FEE

State Penalty*

CODE
(IN EFFECT AS OF
JUNE 26, 2017)

Source:  State law.
*	 The State Penalty is split, with 30 percent retained by the county and 70 percent deposited in the State Penalty Fund. This fund is a pass-through fund
for the funds listed beneath it in the table. Historically, the State Controller’s Office (State Controller) has distributed the revenue based on the percentages
stated in the law; however, recent legislation removed the previously required percentages. According to the Department of Finance (Finance), beginning
June 27, 2017, applicable programs can spend directly out of the State Penalty Fund according to their authorized budget.
†	 Of the revenue collected for the county DNA Penalty, 75 percent is deposited in the county DNA Identification Fund and 25 percent is transferred to
the State’s DNA Identification Fund. All of the revenue collected for the state DNA Penalty is transferred to the State’s DNA Identification Fund.

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The penalties and fees have been added to state law over time,
resulting in a significant total cost for each traffic violation. Table 2
shows the year when each penalty or fee was added to state law
and the total cost of a violation as of that year. Currently, for
example, an individual who is guilty of a traffic infraction with a
base fine of $35 could pay up to $237 after all associated penalties
and fees are added to the base fine. In fact, the total cost for a traffic
infraction almost doubled from 2002 to 2010. It is also important
to note that failure to pay all or any portion of a fine may result in
an additional civil assessment of up to $300. What is more, until
state law changed in 2017, an individual’s driver’s license could be
suspended for failure to pay a fine.
Table 2
Over Time, Penalties and Fees Have Significantly Increased the Cost of Traffic Violations
EXAMPLES OF TOTAL AMOUNTS OWED
INFRACTION*
PENALTY

YEAR ADDED
TO STATE LAW

AMOUNT
(AS OF JUNE 26, 2017)

Base fine†

COST

TOTAL COST
(AS OF YEAR IMPOSED)

$35

MISDEMEANOR*
COST

TOTAL COST
(AS OF YEAR IMPOSED)

$300

State Penalty

1980

$10 for every $10
or part of $10

40

$75

300

$600

County Penalty

1991

$7 for every $10
or part of $10

28

103

210

810

State Court Construction Penalty

2002

$5 for every $10
or part of $10

20

123

150

960

State Surcharge

2002

20% of base fine

7

130

60

1,020

Court Operations Assessment

2003

$40 per conviction

40

170

40

1,060

DNA Penalty (county)

2004

$1 for every $10
or part of $10

4

174

30

1,090

DNA Penalty (state)

2006

$4 for every $10
or part of $10

16

190

120

1,210

EMS Penalty (county)

2006

$2 for every $10
or part of $10

8

198

60

1,270

Criminal Conviction Assessment

2008

$30 felony or misdemeanor/
$35 infraction per conviction

35

233

30

1,300

EMAT Penalty

2010

$4 per conviction

4

237

4

1,304

Sources:  State law, legislative bill analyses, and the Judicial Council’s Uniform Bail and Penalty schedules.
*	 An infraction is a minor violation, such as failing to stop at a stop sign ($35). A misdemeanor is a more significant violation, such as driving
with a suspended license ($300).
†	 The examples in this table reflect base fines for a first conviction. The base fine for certain Vehicle Code violations increases by $10 for each prior
moving violation conviction within the past 36 months, so the base fine for an individual can be higher than the amounts shown.

Furthermore, counties can choose whether to levy certain penalties,
so the total number and amount of penalties differs by county. For
example, Sacramento County did not impose the $2 EMS penalty
for every $10 increment or part of $10 until January 2018, so a
violation in Sacramento County occurring earlier than 2018 would

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not have included this penalty while a violation in the counties
of San Mateo, Merced, or Los Angeles would have included it. In
addition, courts that conduct night or weekend sessions of the court
can choose to impose a $1 per case night or weekend court fee.
Research has shown that California’s traffic fines are among the
highest in the nation. For example, according to a May 2017 report
published by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, California’s
$490 total fine for a red‑light violation is the highest amount of all
the states. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) came to a similar
conclusion in 2016, finding that California’s fines and fees associated
with common traffic offenses were high compared to 33 other states
that the LAO surveyed.
The State and County Entities That We Reviewed Have Distributed
Penalty and Fee Revenue Appropriately
Several state and county entities have a role in collecting,
distributing, and spending penalty and fee revenue. Although
we did not review the collection processes, we verified that the
collected amounts were distributed in the manner state law and
county resolution require. As shown in Figure 2 on the following
page, the general process starts when a county court collects
penalty and fee revenue from traffic citations in its county.4 The
court reports this revenue to the county’s auditor‑controller.
The auditor‑controller then distributes the county’s portion of the
money collected to relevant county funds and sends the State’s
portion to the State Controller.5 The State Controller distributes this
money to different state funds as the law requires. Administering
agencies then must ensure that the funds from penalties and fees
are used appropriately.
In reviewing the distribution of penalty and fee revenue from fiscal
years 2014–15 through 2016–17, we examined the distribution
and expenditure processes at four counties: Los Angeles, Merced,
Sacramento, and San Mateo. We found that for the months we
reviewed, county auditor‑controllers had accurately distributed
the revenue that the court reported collecting to the State and
select county funds in the proportions required by state law
and county resolution. We also reviewed the State Controller’s
disbursement process and examined how five state entities spent

4	

Some courts use private collection agencies.

5	

State law requires that before making any other required distribution, the county treasurer
shall transmit 2 percent of all fines, penalties, and forfeitures collected in criminal cases into
the State Trial Court Improvement and Modernization Fund to be used exclusively to pay the
costs of automated systems of the trial courts, such as automated data collection through case
management systems.

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the penalty and fee revenue; we found that the State Controller
appropriately distributed the revenue from the State Penalty Fund
to other state funds. Our review of expenditures from several
state and county funds that receive penalty and fee revenue
found that state and county entities spent the penalty revenue for
allowable purposes.

Figure 2
State and County Entities Distribute Penalty and Fee Revenue From Traffic Violations

Court
receives traffic
citations from
law enforcement.
Court staff
or vendors
enter
citation data
into
case management
system
COUNTY
Court case management system
is configured to calculate
revenue generated by each state
and county penalty and fee.

Court reports
revenue monthly
to county
auditor-controller

County auditor-controller enters
the county penalty and fee data
into its accounting system,
as indicated in the court report.

$

County
auditor-controller
distributes money to
county funds*

COUNTY

Various county departments
must spend the money
according to the
county funds’ purposes.

STATE
County remits state
penalty and fee revenue
to the State as indicated
in court report

State Controller enters state
penalty and fee data into
its fiscal system, as indicated
in the county’s remittance.

$

State
Controller
distributes money
to state funds

STATE

Various state administering
agencies must spend money
according to the
state funds’ purposes.

Sources:  Description of processes from staff at Los Angeles, Merced, and Sacramento counties’ auditor-controller’s offices, San Mateo County’s County
Manager’s Office and county controller’s staff, and the State Controller.
*	 In San Mateo County, the County Manager’s Office distributes county penalty revenue to various county funds, while the county controller sends state
penalty revenue to the State Controller.

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State Entities Have Previously Identified Issues With the Distribution
and Use of Penalties and Fees
Other state entities have previously raised concerns about the
State’s system of penalties and fees. The LAO issued a report in
January 2016 that explained its concerns with the State’s system,
such as the difficulty the Legislature has in controlling the use of
revenue from fines and fees. In addition, the LAO concluded that
the existing system distributes revenue in a manner that is generally
not based on program needs, which results in certain programs
receiving more or less funding than needed. The report also stated
that the complexity of the current distribution process makes it
difficult to distribute revenue accurately and that complete and
accurate data on collections and distributions were lacking. The
LAO recommended that the Legislature reevaluate the overall
structure of the fine and fee system and that it increase legislative
control over the use of this revenue.
In an April 2016 white paper, the Judicial Council also noted the
complex structure required to administer California’s criminal
fines and fees. It reported that the number of criminal case filings
dropped overall from fiscal years 2005–06 through 2014–15, and
it indicated that future collections may decline in the near term,
according to these trends. In addition, the white paper discussed
significant public policy issues the Judicial Council believes must
be considered, such as the complexity of administering the current
fine and fee system, the Legislature’s role in deciding how to
spend penalty revenue, and the overall significant increase in the
total costs of violations. The Judicial Council recommended to
the Legislature that any funding that is decreased or eliminated
through a change to the current structure should be assessed for
need and any resulting loss in revenue to the judicial branch and
the trial courts be fully addressed. It also recommended that the
overall structure of criminal fines and fees, including collection and
distribution, be simplified.
The Legislature Has Acted to Revise the State’s Approaches to
Imposing and Distributing Penalty and Fee Revenue
To provide relief to individuals who are in violation of court orders
because of unpaid traffic fines as well as to collect revenue by
encouraging individuals to pay old unpaid fines, the Legislature
established an amnesty program in 2015. From October 1, 2015,
to April 3, 2017, the one‑time program offered individuals with
qualifying infractions and misdemeanors an opportunity to
resolve delinquent debt that had been initially due on or before
January 1, 2013. Depending on their income, these individuals
were allowed to resolve their outstanding debts by paying

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20 percent or 50 percent of the total amount due, including fines,
fees, and penalties. The program also allowed driving privileges
that had previously been suspended to be restored under certain
conditions. More recently, legislation proposed in 2017 would
require the court, in any case involving an infraction filed with
the court, to determine whether the defendant is indigent. If the
defendant can prove indigence through specified information,
the court would then be required to reduce the base fine and
associated fees by 80 percent and offer a payment plan option. This
legislation is currently pending consideration in the Legislature.
The Legislature has also recently changed the way some penalty
revenue is distributed to associated funds. Specifically, changes
to state law removed the authority, and the previously required
percentages, for distributing revenue from the State Penalty Fund to
other state funds as shown earlier in Table 1 on page 5. Instead,
according to Finance, beginning June 27, 2017, applicable programs
can spend directly out of the State Penalty Fund according to
their authorized budget. While this change may alter the specific
allocations for the programs that receive funding from the State
Penalty Fund, it does not revise the amount of the State Penalty,
which is still $10 for every increment of $10, or part of $10, of the
base fine on all criminal and traffic violations.
Scope and Methodology
The Joint Legislative Audit Committee (Audit Committee)
directed the California State Auditor (State Auditor) to review
the funds that the State and local governments receive from the
penalties assessed according to specified Government and Penal
Code sections. Table 3 lists the objectives that the Audit Committee
approved and the methods we used to address them.

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Table 3
Audit Objectives and the Methods Used to Address Them
AUDIT OBJECTIVE

1

Review and evaluate the laws, rules,
and regulations significant to the
audit objectives.

METHOD

•  Reviewed relevant laws, rules, guidelines, and policies related to penalties generated from
traffic violations. We found that criminal violations, such as misdemeanors and felonies, may be
punishable by imprisonment. Infractions are not punishable by imprisonment and are typically
not considered criminal violations. However, in this report, we consider all violations of the
Vehicle Code that constitute felonies, misdemeanors, or infractions as “criminal” violations and
characterize all penalties, surcharges, fines, fees, and assessments imposed for violations of the
Vehicle Code as “criminal.”
•  Interviewed key staff at the State Controller, the Judicial Council, county auditor‑controllers’ offices,
and local county departments.
•  Reviewed reports from the Judicial Council and the LAO on the subject of criminal fines and fees.
•  Identified penalties related to traffic violations by reviewing state law and the Judicial Council’s
Uniform Bail and Penalty schedules. The penalties and fees we identified are listed in Table 1 on
page 5.

2

Identify the total revenue,
expenditures, and fiscal year-end fund
balances for each of the state funds
that receive revenue from penalties
for traffic violations from fiscal
years 2014–15 through 2016–17.

•  Reviewed state law to identify the state funds that receive penalty and fee revenue.
•  Queried the State Controller’s fiscal system to determine total yearly cash collected (revenue)
and cash disbursed (expenditures) for the funds identified. Also determined the
revenue generated specifically from the penalties and fees listed in Table 1 and identified the
year‑end balances for those funds.
•  Identified trends in revenue, expenditures, and year-end balances. Interviewed staff at
administering agencies to identify reasons for and impacts of these trends.
•  Interviewed State Controller staff to identify internal controls for processing counties’ remittances
and reviewed its process for distributing the State Penalty Fund revenue to other funds.

3

From a selection of four counties,
identify the total revenue, total and
types of expenditures, and fiscal
year‑end fund balances for each
of the local funds that received
revenue from traffic violation fines
and fees from fiscal years 2014–15
through 2016–17.

To select four counties for review, we considered the following factors:
•  The amount of penalty revenue generated in the county.
•  Representation of urban, suburban, and rural populations.
•  Population demographics such as ethnicity and median income to cover a range of
socioeconomic levels.
•  The volume of traffic based on average daily miles traveled and major travel corridors.
•  The region of California in which the county is located.
Selected the counties of Los Angeles, Merced, Sacramento, and San Mateo and performed
the following:
•  Reviewed and analyzed data from each county’s auditor-controller’s office to determine annual
revenues, expenditures, and year-end fund balances for county funds that receive penalty and
fee revenue. We present the types of expenditures that are allowable from each of the funds
in Table 7.
•  Interviewed staff at local administering agencies to identify reasons for trends in these amounts.
•  Reviewed internal controls each county put in place to ensure that revenue amounts distributed
are accurate and complete as established in state law and county resolution.
•  Reviewed the configuration in the case management system at a superior court responsible for
traffic violations in each county to verify that the system is configured with the penalty and fee
amounts established in state law and county resolution.
•  Examined the processes used by each auditor-controller’s office for distributing the penalty and
fee revenues.
•  Determined whether each auditor-controller distributed revenue completely by verifying that the
total revenue received from the respective court was fully distributed to the required state and
local funds for one month in each of the fiscal years from 2014–15 through 2016–17. Determined
whether each county auditor-controller distributed revenue accurately by verifying that it
distributed the correct revenue amounts (as determined by the court’s case management system)
into selected funds as established in state law and county resolution.

continued on next page . . .

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AUDIT OBJECTIVE

4

Determine whether state agencies
spent revenue from the penalties
that state funds received from fiscal
years 2014–15 through 2016–17 in
accordance with the requirements
and stated purposes of those funds.

METHOD

•  Reviewed state law to identify the agencies responsible for administering the state funds that
receive penalty and fee revenue.
•  Reviewed state law and the Manual of State Funds to identify the purpose and allowable uses of
each state fund that receives penalty and fee revenue.
•  Selected five state funds to review by identifying the total revenue received, the percentage of the
total revenue that was from penalties and fees, the fund’s purpose and whether that purpose was
related to traffic violations, and the administering agency.
•  Obtained expenditure data from the administering agencies for fiscal years 2014–15 through
2016–17 and selected five expenditures for testing to determine whether each expenditure was
allowable. We did not perform completeness testing on these data because it would have been
cost-prohibitive to collect supporting documents located throughout the State.
•  Reviewed each administering agency’s design of internal controls over processing expenditures.

5

Determine whether the four selected
counties spent the revenue from the
penalties that local governments
received from fiscal years 2014–15
through 2016–17 in accordance with
the requirements and stated purposes
of those funds.

•  Selected four county funds to review by examining expenditure data obtained from each county
and identifying the total revenue received, the fund’s purpose, and the administering
county department.
•  Identified the administering agency of each of the selected funds and interviewed staff to gain
perspective on how the fund is managed, how expenditures are processed, and the controls in
place to ensure that fund revenue is spent appropriately.
•  Selected five expenditures from each of the four funds for testing to determine whether each
expenditure was allowable. We did not perform completeness testing on these data because it
would have been cost-prohibitive to collect supporting documents for numerous county systems.
•  Reviewed each administering agency’s design of internal controls over processing expenditures.

6

Review and assess any other issues
that are significant to the audit.

•  Determined whether the amount of each penalty was based on program needs by reviewing the
electronically available legislative history and bill analyses for each penalty and fee.
•  Evaluated how well the purposes for which the penalty or fee can be used aligned with traffic
violations. We reviewed the purposes of each fund that receives penalty revenue and assessed
whether the purposes directly, indirectly, or do not align with the nature of traffic violations.
•  Analyzed the increase in total fines from traffic-related penalties and fees over time.
•  Interviewed key staff at Finance regarding the recent change in state law concerning the transfers
from the State Penalty Fund.

Source:  California State Auditor’s analysis of the Audit Committee’s audit request number 2017-126 and state law, and information and documentation
identified in the column titled Method.

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April 2018

Assessment of Data Reliability
In performing this audit, we obtained electronic data from state and
county entities’ information systems. Table 4 describes the analyses
we conducted using data from these information systems, our
methods for testing, and the results of our assessments. Although
these determinations may affect the precision of the numbers we
present, there is sufficient evidence in total to support our audit
findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Table 4
Methods Used to Assess Data Reliability
INFORMATION SYSTEM

PURPOSE

METHOD AND RESULT

State Controller’s
fiscal system

To identify total revenue,
expenditures, and year-end fund
balances for state funds that
received revenue from penalties
for traffic violations from fiscal
years 2014–15 through 2016–17.

We assessed the reliability of revenue, expenditures, and
fund balances by reviewing the testing of the fiscal system’s
features and control environment performed as part of the
State’s financial audit.

Sufficiently reliable
for the purposes of
this audit.

Selected county
auditor-controller
and departmental
accounting systems

To identify total revenue,
expenditures, and year-end fund
balances for county funds that
received revenue from penalties
for traffic violations from fiscal
years 2014–15 through 2016–17.

We performed electronic testing and data-set verification
procedures for the funds we selected under objective 5 and
did not identify any issues.

Undetermined
reliability for the
purposes of this audit.

We performed testing to verify that each county
auditor‑controller accurately deposited into the relevant
county funds the penalty revenue collected for one month in
each of the three fiscal years from 2014–15 through 2016–17.
Some county funds receive other revenue that we did not
test. We also did not test expenditure and fund balance data
for accuracy or completeness because collecting supporting
documents for numerous county systems would have been
cost-prohibitive.

Although this
determination may
affect the precision
of the numbers we
present, there is
sufficient evidence to
support our findings
and conclusions.

Sources:  California State Auditor’s analysis of various documents, interviews, and data from the entities listed in this table.

CONCLUSION

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Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

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Audit Results
No Systematic Strategy Guides the State’s Use of Penalties and
Fees to Fund State and Local Programs, and the High Cost Has
Burdened Drivers
Penalties and fees were established as an approach to generating
revenue for state and county programs. However, they have been
added to state law in a piecemeal fashion over time, without any
systematic strategy and with little documented analysis of the
expected revenue and the amount needed to support the funded
programs. This approach has led to problems both for many of
the state and county programs that depend on the revenue and
for the driving public.
Unpaid penalties and fees, coupled with declining criminal case
filings, likely have contributed to a decline in the revenue. This
revenue decline has contributed negatively to many state and
county fund balances and thus the sustainability of some of the
related programs. At the same time, as additional penalties and
fees have been added, the total cost to drivers has increased
dramatically. Currently, the penalties and fees imposed increase the
base fine more than six‑fold for some violations. This cost increase
has created a disproportionate financial burden for low‑income
drivers, causing some to not pay.
As discussed in the Introduction, the Legislature took action to
provide relief, in part, to individuals in violation of court orders
because of unpaid traffic fines by creating a one‑time amnesty
program. State law also currently allows judges the discretion to
order individuals to pay reduced amounts based on their ability
to pay. However, both of these attempts mirror the piecemeal
nature of the penalties themselves, as one was temporary and the
other lacked standardization. A more standardized method for
mitigating costs to indigent drivers has been proposed in pending
legislation that would require courts to reduce indigent individuals’
base fines and associated fees by 80 percent. The progression of this
funding approach is depicted in Figure 3 on the following page.
Also as discussed in the Introduction, many state entities, including
the LAO and the Judicial Council, have identified issues with the
current approach. In addition, both the Legislature and the
Governor have expressed concern with using penalties to fund
programs, and they have indicated an intent to stop doing so.
For example, the Legislature found that reliance on penalties is
a regressive financing mechanism that is particularly harmful to
individuals who can least afford high fines, and therefore it intends
to stop relying on this type of revenue to fund emergency medical
air transportation services. The Governor has noted that costs

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added to traffic tickets should be based on reasonable punishment,
not on financing more of the State’s General Fund activities.
Similarly, our review found several areas in which the practice of
using penalties and fees as a significant revenue source is
Various
administering
Various
county departments
problematic.
Table 5 presents a scorecard with
a state
high‑level
overview
agencies must spend the money
must spend the money
ofaccording
the factors
we
identified
for
consideration:
whether
estimates
according to the
to the
existed
the revenue that the penalties and fees
werepurposes.
expected to
state funds’
county
funds’of
purposes.
generate, how revenue and fund balances are trending, and whether
the funds’ uses align with the related traffic violations. We discuss
each of these concerns in greater detail in the following sections.

Figure 3
The Current Approach of Generating Revenue From Penalties and Fees Is Problematic

IMPACT ON AGENCIES

When the penalties and fees
were created, there was a lack
of documented analyses
establishing how much revenue
the program needed. Further,
for many penalties and fees an
estimate of expected revenue
was not documented.

Revenue from penalties and fees
has declined as the number of
criminal and traffic filings has
decreased and delinquent debt
has gone uncollected. These
factors likely contributed to
decreasing funds for programs.

Penalties and fees were
established to generate
revenue for various programs.

As multiple penalties and fees
were added over time, the total
cost to drivers has increased
dramatically. In addition, some
programs that receive penalty
and fee revenue are not related
to traffic violations.

Actions taken to reduce the
financial burden on motorists may
have further affected program
revenue. Pending legislation to
reduce penalties for those who can
demonstrate that they are indigent
could result in further decreases in
funding for programs.
Penalties and fees do not
always generate consistent
revenue for various funds
and programs.

Violators are less likely to be
able to pay the significant total
fine amount, which potentially
decreases the amount of revenue
collected. Additionally, a judge
has the discretion to reduce part
or all of a fine.

IMPACT ON DRIVERS

Source:  California State Auditor’s analysis of state law, financial data, and fund purposes.

Due to the high rate of nonpayment
of fines, a one-time amnesty
program was offered from 2015 to
2017 allowing violators a reduced
payment option. Pending legislation
would require judges to significantly
reduce penalties and fees if a violator
is determined to be indigent.

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April 2018

Table 5
Funding State Programs Through Penalty and Fee Revenue Raises Concerns

PENALTY

ALL REVENUE FROM THE STATE PENALTY
TRANSFERS TO THESE FUNDS

State Penalty

WAS THERE
AN ESTIMATE
OF EXPECTED
REVENUE FROM
THE PENALTY?

ARE PENALTY
REVENUES
INCREASING?

IS THE FUND
BALANCE
INCREASING?

IS THE FUND
PURPOSE
ALIGNED
WITH TRAFFIC
VIOLATIONS?

No

No

NA

NA

Fish and Game Preservation Fund

No

No

No

No

Restitution Fund

No

No

Somewhat

Somewhat

Peace Officers’ Training Fund

No

No

No

Yes

Driver Training Penalty Assessment Fund

No

No

Somewhat

Somewhat

Corrections Training Fund

No

No

Somewhat

Somewhat

Local Public Prosecutors and Public Defenders Training Fund

No

No

Somewhat

Somewhat

Victim-Witness Assistance Fund

No

No

No

Somewhat

Traumatic Brain Injury Fund

No

No

Somewhat

Somewhat

No

No

No

Somewhat

DNA Penalty (state)
EMAT Penalty

Yes

No

Somewhat

Somewhat

State Court Construction Penalty

Somewhat

No

Somewhat*

Yes

Criminal Conviction Assessment

Somewhat

No

Somewhat

Yes

Court Operations Assessment

No

No

Yes

Yes

State Surcharge

Yes

No

No

No

Sources:  California State Auditor’s analysis of revenue estimates in legislative bill analyses, revenue and fund balance data from the State
Controller’s fiscal system, and state law.
Note:  This table only lists penalties that fund state programs. It does not include the penalties and fees that fund county programs, which
are included in Table 1 on page 5.
NA = All revenue initially collected in the State Penalty Fund was then transferred to other state funds.
*	 Portions of the State Court Construction Penalty are deposited into both the Immediate and Critical Needs Account and the State Court Facilities
Construction Fund, which are listed in Table 1.

n = Yes.
n  =  Somewhat.
n  =  No.

Traffic Penalty and Fee Amounts Do Not Appear to be Based on the
Revenue Needs of the Funded Programs
As discussed in the Introduction, state law established the amounts of
the penalties and fees imposed for traffic violations, with the intent
of generating revenue for particular programs. However, we were
unable to identify evidence that any of the set amounts were based
on the needs of the funded program. Absent this information, the
dollar amounts of many penalties and fees appear to be arbitrary.
In addition, it is unclear for many of these penalties and fees if they
were intended to provide all the revenue necessary to operate the
respective programs or just to supplement other revenue sources.
We reviewed the electronically available legislative history and
analyses of the bills and propositions that enacted these penalties
and fees in law. Although some bill analyses noted the need for

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more revenue, as Table 6 shows, only four of the seven state
penalties and fees had documentation with revenue estimates.
What is more, three of the four analyses do not make it clear
whether the estimated revenue would meet the needs of the
funded programs.
Table 6
Decreasing Revenue and Fluctuating Fund Balances Demonstrate That State Penalties and Fees Provide
Inconsistent Levels of Funding
Fiscal Years 2014–15 Through 2016–17

PENALTY

ALL REVENUE FROM THE STATE PENALTY TRANSFERS TO THESE FUNDS

State Penalty
Fish and Game
Preservation Fund

ANNUAL
PENALTY
REVENUE
ESTIMATE FROM
BILL ANALYSIS
(MILLIONS)

None
NA

ACTUAL
AVERAGE
ANNUAL
PENALTY
REVENUE
(MILLIONS)*

PERCENTAGE
OF PENALTY
REVENUE CHANGE
FROM FISCAL
YEAR 2014–15
TO 2016–17

FUND

FUND
BALANCE
FISCAL
YEAR-END
2016-17
(MILLIONS)

$104.7

22% decrease

State Penalty Fund:

NA

0.4

14% decrease

Fish and Game
Preservation Fund

$69.8

PERCENTAGE OF
FUND BALANCE
CHANGE FROM
FISCAL YEAR
2014–15 TO
2016–17

REVENUE
SOURCES

NA

Single

11% decrease Multiple

Restitution Fund

NA

33.6

24% decrease

Restitution Fund

99.7

Fluctuated

Multiple

Peace Officers’
Training Fund

NA

25.8

19% decrease

Peace Officers’ Training Fund

5.0

74% decrease

Single

Driver Training
Penalty Assessment
Fund

NA

26.9

24% decrease

Driver Training Penalty
Assessment Fund

1.0

Fluctuated

Single

Corrections Training
Fund

NA

8.4

21% decrease

Corrections Training Fund

3.1

Fluctuated

Single

Local Public
Prosecutors and
Public Defenders
Training Fund

NA

0.8

14% decrease

Local Public Prosecutors
and Public Defenders
Training Fund

1.2

Fluctuated

Single

Victim-Witness
Assistance Fund

NA

9.0

24% decrease

Victim-Witness Assistance Fund

4.8

57% decrease

Single

Traumatic Brain
Injury Fund

NA

0.7

24% decrease

Traumatic Brain Injury Fund

0.4

Fluctuated

Single

DNA Penalty (state)

None

60.8

20% decrease

DNA Identification Fund (state)

6.2

74% decrease

Single

EMAT Penalty

$26.0

7.7

19% decrease

EMAT Act Fund

2.1

Fluctuated

Single

60 to 80‡

96.0

24% decrease

State Court Facilities
Construction Fund

411.0

Criminal Conviction
Assessment

280‡

108.6

25% decrease

Immediate and Critical Needs
Account

269.0

Court Operations
Assessment

None

125.4

24% decrease

Trial Court Trust Fund

173.5

130% increase Multiple

State Surcharge

45.8

41.9

20% decrease

General Fund

3,750.0

22% decrease Multiple

State Court
Construction Penalty†

•

11% decrease Multiple
Fluctuated

Multiple

Sources:  California State Auditor’s analysis of revenue estimates in legislative bill analyses, and revenue and fund balance data from the State Controller’s
fiscal system.
Note:  This table only lists penalties that fund state programs. It does not include the penalties and fees that fund county programs, which are included in
Table 1 on page 5.
NA = All revenue initially collected in the State Penalty Fund was then transferred to other state funds.
*	 The data for penalty and fee revenue that the State collects are an aggregate of all criminal penalties and fees, including those added to traffic and
nontraffic violations.
†	 Portions of the State Court Construction Penalty are deposited into both the Immediate and Critical Needs Account and the State Court Facilities
Construction Fund.
‡	 The estimate from the bill analysis was based on an aggregation of several penalties and fees that were included in a single bill, and not just for the
penalty we are reviewing. The portion of the estimate attributable to the listed penalty was not specified.

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April 2018

Further, only two of the four analyses had estimates that were
specific to the individual penalty. For example, a bill analysis
for the EMAT Penalty documented a revenue estimate and the
methodology used to calculate the estimate. In contrast, the other
two included only an aggregate revenue estimate for multiple
penalties and/or fees that were established at the same time in the
same bill. For the other three penalties, there was no documented
estimate of the revenue that the individual penalty would generate.
In addition, even the penalties that had estimates when established
did not generate as much revenue as expected. For the two state
penalties with specific estimates of expected revenue, we compared
the electronically available estimates to the actual penalty revenue
collected for the three fiscal years in our audit period and found
that both collected less than was projected. Specifically, the EMAT
Penalty collected $7.7 million per year on average—less than a
third of the expected $26 million annually. The revenue from the
state surcharge, which charges 20 percent on the base fine used
to calculate the state penalty, has been declining and for fiscal
year 2016–17 amounted to $37.3 million, representing 81 percent of
what was projected.
The Penalty and Fee Revenue Collected Is Trending Downward,
Contributing to Declining Fund Balances for Many Programs
Revenue from penalties and fees has decreased over the past
three fiscal years, demonstrating that this form of revenue is not
consistently available for the programs that rely on it. Table 6 shows
the trends in penalty revenue for the 15 state funds we reviewed.
The amount of revenue these funds received from penalties
decreased by amounts ranging from 14 percent to 25 percent overall
from fiscal year 2014–15 to 2016–17. Many of these funds rely on
penalties for 50 percent or more of their annual revenue.
Several state agencies indicated that the declining revenue
from penalties and fees has led them to reduce, or to consider
reducing, the services they fund. For example, the Commission on
Peace Officer Standards and Training, which administers the Peace
Officers’ Training Fund, reduced the types of training it reimburses
and the amount of funding it provides to some training programs.
Table A.1 beginning on page 27 in the Appendix presents the total
revenue from all sources, total revenue from penalties, and total
expenditures for fiscal years 2014–15 through 2016–17 as well as the
year‑end balances for the state funds we reviewed.

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In addition, some state funds’ balances declined from fiscal
years 2014–15 through 2016–17 in part due to decreased
penalty revenue, which is an unsustainable trend in the long
term. For example, the state DNA Identification Fund’s balance
decreased by 74 percent, from $23 million to $6.2 million, and the
Victim‑Witness Assistance Fund’s balance decreased by 57 percent,
from $11 million to $4.8 million. Without reductions to expenses
or increases in revenue, those funds will likely be depleted within
three years.

Many other funds have balances
that rose and fell inconsistently
over the three years. Some balances
fluctuated by 40 percent or
more annually.

On the other hand, some state funds that have multiple revenue
sources have not consistently experienced decreasing fund balances.
In particular, the Trial Court Trust Fund had an increasing fund
balance over our audit period; it relies on the court operations
assessment for less than 10 percent of its revenue. Further, many
other funds have balances that rose and fell inconsistently over
the three years. Some balances fluctuated by 40 percent or
more annually.
Many of the county funds we reviewed that receive penalty revenue
have also experienced declining revenue in the past three fiscal
years, which has created an inconsistent revenue source for the
associated programs. According to some county departments that
manage these funds, they may begin or have already begun to use
other funding sources, including their county general fund. Some
do not have such plans and may face program reductions if revenue
continues to decline.
Like the state funds, some of the county funds had fluctuating or
declining balances over the three years, sometimes because of
changes in expenditure amounts or declining revenues. Table A.2
beginning on page 30 in the Appendix presents the total revenue
and total expenditures for fiscal years 2014–15 through 2016–17 as
well as the year‑end balances for the county funds we reviewed.
Given these trends, counties should reevaluate how they allocate
revenue from the county penalty as they take into consideration any
future changes to penalties and fees the Legislature might make.
On the other hand, some of the county programs that receive funds
from penalties and fees do not spend all the revenue they receive,
which can lead to large fund balances. Each of the four counties
we reviewed has at least one fund whose fiscal year 2016–17
balance was many times more than its annual expenditures for the
three years we reviewed. For example, the Automated Fingerprint
Identification Fund in Los Angeles County had a fiscal year 2016–17
fund balance of $79 million and spent only about $8 million each
year. Similarly, Merced County’s DNA Identification Fund had a
balance of more than $1 million as of the end of fiscal year 2016–17
and was growing by roughly $100,000 each year, while average

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yearly expenditures were less than $10,000. This suggests that the
penalty amount charged could be unnecessarily high for these
counties, thus generating a surplus of revenue. Although the Los
Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department asserted that it has several
large projects upcoming that will spend down its fund balance, that
balance has increased by more than $1 million per year over the
past three fiscal years. According to the Merced County Sheriff ’s
Department the revenue deposited into its DNA Identification
Fund is currently in excess of what the county can reasonably use,
and it is considering other allowable uses for the fund.
One likely reason penalty revenue has declined is that the number
of criminal cases filed has decreased. The offenses that the penalties
and fees are levied upon are composed of criminal and public
offenses, including traffic violations. According to data in the
Judicial Council’s 2017 Court Statistics Report, the total criminal
case filings decreased overall between fiscal years 2008–09
and 2015–16. These data also show that traffic filings—the number
of both misdemeanor and infraction traffic cases—decreased by
44 percent from fiscal years 2008–09 through 2015–16. According
to the data, traffic cases made up more than 80 percent of the total
criminal filings during that period. Thus, the decrease in traffic
filings likely has had a significant effect on penalty revenue.
Another factor that appears to be contributing to the declining
revenue is that many penalties are not being paid. This is
demonstrated by the large amount of outstanding delinquent
court‑ordered debt, including traffic fines owed. According to
the Judicial Council’s 2017 Report on the Statewide Collection of
Delinquent Court‑Ordered Debt, such debt at the end of fiscal
year 2016–17 was $10 billion—a 3.6 percent increase over the
previous year.6 The LAO, which reviewed California’s criminal fines
and fees, indicated in its 2016 report that much of this outstanding
debt may be uncollectible, as the costs of collection may be greater
than the amounts that would be collected. The Judicial Council also
noted in a 2016 white paper that high dollar amounts for fines and
fees can limit violators’ ability to pay in full or in a timely manner,
contributing to the amount that remains unpaid.
As described in the Introduction, a recent amnesty program
in effect from October 1, 2015, through April 3, 2017, relieved
some offenders from paying a portion of their outstanding debt.
In the law creating the program, the Legislature declared that
the program would provide increased revenue by encouraging
payment of old fines that had remained unpaid. A Judicial
6	

Penal Code section 1463.010 defines court‑ordered debt as including court‑ordered fees, fines,
forfeitures, penalties, restitution, and assessments. This type of debt also includes the penalties
that are the subject of this report.

Another factor that appears to
be contributing to the declining
revenue is that many penalties are
not being paid.

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Council report stated that the intent of the program included
providing relief to individuals who faced significant cost barriers
to paying court‑ordered debt and generating revenue for the State
Penalty Fund. However, that report also stated that, after costs
of $13.5 million to operate the program, only $31.6 million was
collected—a small fraction of the estimated $2.6 billion in debts that
were eligible for the program. The report also stated that 34 percent
of individuals who started a payment plan under the amnesty
program defaulted on their reduced amount due.
Although the amnesty program has ended, pending legislation has
been introduced that would require courts in any case involving
an infraction to identify indigent individuals and to reduce the
amount they must pay. Previously established state law already
allows judges the discretion to order defendants to pay reduced
amounts. Although they offer relief to low‑income defendants,
both this existing option and the pending legislation to standardize
reductions for indigent defendants can reduce the amount
of penalty revenue generated and therefore contribute to the
inconsistency of this revenue source.
Penalties and Fees Associated With Traffic Citations Have Increased
Substantially, Increasing the Financial Burden on Drivers
As discussed in the Introduction and shown in Table 2 on page 6,
the size and number of penalties and fees added to traffic fines
can be substantial enough to affect individuals’ ability to pay them,
and they create disproportionate financial burdens on low‑income
individuals. Additionally, those penalties can seem unfair or
incongruous because many of the funds pay for programs with
indirect or no connection to the cited traffic violations. For these
reasons, when establishing new penalties or revising California’s
fine and fee system, the Legislature should decide whether to
consider individuals’ ability to pay penalties and fees, and whether
penalties and fees should pay only for programs and services with
direct connections to the cited violations.
Offenses that carry a base fine
of $35 can cost an individual
$237 after the penalties and fees
are included—a six-fold increase.

As shown in the Introduction, offenses that carry a base fine of
$35 can cost an individual $237 after the penalties and fees are
included—a six‑fold increase. If an individual is cited for multiple
offenses, such as failure to stop at a stop sign and failure to signal
before turning—both of which carry a $35 base fine—the base fines
are added together and the penalties and fees are calculated on
that total base fine. A driving under the influence offense incurs
additional fees unique to that offense, such as an Alcohol Abuse
Education and Prevention Penalty Assessment of up to $50, so the
$390 base fine for a first offense could generate a total fine amount
of approximately $2,024. As a point of context, a 2017 report by the

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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System found that only
56 percent of the U.S. households that responded to their survey
could fairly easily handle a $400 emergency expense; the remaining
44 percent indicated that they either could not pay or would have to
borrow or sell something to do so.
In addition, others have indicated that any punitive effect of the
penalties is experienced unevenly among offenders, because
the penalties create a greater financial burden on low‑income
populations. In fact, legislation to extend the EMAT Penalty in 2015
stated that high fines and penalty assessments can perpetuate
a cycle of poverty and inequality, given that individuals with
lower incomes are more likely to miss payments and suffer the
consequences. Formerly, failure to pay could have led to suspension
of the driver’s license and can still result in an extra assessment
and the possibility of imprisonment. Other entities, including the
U.S. Department of Justice, have noted this issue as well.
Additionally, the incongruity between a driver’s violation and the
purpose of the penalties and fees may create a negative perception
for drivers and cause them to question the appropriateness of the
penalties. Many of the penalties pay for activities not directly related
to the traffic violation, as Table 7 on the following page shows. For
example, failing to stop at a stop sign results in penalties that pay
for various operations, including fish and game preservation and
State General Fund uses, neither of which relates to that particular
offense. Most of the other penalties pay for services that result from
some, but not all, instances of a traffic violation and are therefore
indirectly aligned. For example, the EMAT Penalty would directly
relate only to a traffic violation that resulted in an injury requiring
air transport to a hospital. In addition, the DNA Identification
Penalty would directly relate only to a traffic incident that required
law enforcement to collect and analyze DNA. Nevertheless, all
traffic violations incur these penalties. Only four of the funds that
receive penalty and fee revenue appear to be directly aligned with
traffic violations; these funds support law enforcement training and
court facilities and operations.
To address the problematic nature of the current approach, the
Legislature would need to consider these issues and make public
policy decisions about how, and to what extent, to fund the
programs that currently receive penalty and fee revenue from
criminal and traffic violations. We recognize the challenge of
both providing sufficient revenue for these programs and levying
reasonable amounts on drivers who break the law, and following we
provide several recommendations of possible approaches to address
the concerns we identified.

Formerly, failure to pay could have
led to suspension of the driver’s
license and can still result in an
extra assessment and the possibility
of imprisonment.

23

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California State Auditor Report 2017-126

April 2018

Table 7
Most Penalties and Fees Are Used for Purposes Not Directly Related to Traffic Violations

FUND

State Penalty Fund:

SUMMARY OF ALLOWABLE FUND USES (AS OF JUNE 26, 2017)

The State Penalty Fund money is transferred monthly into the 8 funds below.

ALIGNMENT WITH
TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS

NA
None

Education or training of Department of Fish and Game employees.

Restitution Fund

Compensation for those citizens (or their dependents) who are injured and suffer
financial hardship as a result of a crime, or who sustain damage or injury while
performing acts that benefit the State.

Peace Officers' Training Fund

Grants to local governments and districts for the selection and training of law
enforcement officers.

Driver Training Penalty
Assessment Fund

Driver instruction within the State Department of Education, including costs of
instruction in the operation of motor vehicles, and costs of replacing vehicles and
simulators used in driver education programs.

Indirect*

Corrections Training Fund

Development of appropriate corrections standards, training, and program evaluation.

Indirect

Local Public Prosecutors and
Public Defenders Training Fund

Statewide programs of education, training, and research for local public prosecutors
and public defenders.

Indirect

Victim-Witness Assistance Fund

Services to victims and witnesses of all types of crime.

Indirect

Traumatic Brain Injury Fund

Services for adults with traumatic brain injury sustained after birth, including
supported living, community reintegration, and vocational supportive services.

Indirect

DNA Identification Fund (County)

Reimbursement of local sheriff or law enforcement agencies' DNA-related
administrative costs; procurement of equipment and software; and the collection,
analysis, and storage of DNA specimens.

Indirect

DNA Identification Fund (State)

Operations of the DOJ forensic laboratories, including the implementation of the DNA
Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Protection Act.

Indirect

Emergency Medical Air Transportation
Act Fund

Offsetting and augmenting Medi-Cal reimbursements for EMAT services.

Indirect

Maddy EMS Fund (County)

Reimbursement of costs to physicians, surgeons, and hospitals for certain emergency
medical services purposes.

Indirect

Immediate and Critical Needs Account

Planning, design, construction, rehabilitation, renovation, replacement, or acquisition
of court facilities, and for the payment of leases or rentals of court facilities.

Direct

State Court Facilities Construction Fund

Planning, design, construction, rehabilitation, renovation, replacement, leasing, or
financing of new court facilities.

Direct

Trial Court Trust Fund

Trial court operations, salaries and benefits of superior court judges, court interpreter
services, assigned judge services, and local assistance grants.

Direct

State General Fund

It is the principal operating fund for the majority of governmental activities and
consists of all money received in the Treasury that is not required by law to be credited
to any other fund.

None

County Penalty

Counties can choose to transfer portions of this assessment to various funds with the
following allowable uses: (1) courthouse construction, (2) criminal justice facilities
construction, (3) automated fingerprint identification and digital image photographic
suspect identification, (4) forensic laboratory, (5) emergency medical services, (6) DNA
identification, and (7) other special purpose.

Generally Indirect

ALL REVENUE FROM THE STATE PENALTY TRANSFERS TO THESE FUNDS

Fish and Game Preservation Fund

Indirect

Direct

Sources:  California State Auditor’s analysis of fund purposes and state law.
Note:  We deemed a fund purpose to align directly with a traffic violation if the violation would represent a cost to that fund. We deemed a fund
purpose to align indirectly if only in certain circumstances the violation would represent a cost to that fund. For example, failing to stop at a stop sign
would only result in a medical air transportation cost if someone was injured by the failure to stop. We deemed a fund purpose to not align if the
violation would not represent a cost to that fund.
*	 During our audit period, the majority of the revenue deposited in the Driver Training Penalty Assessment Fund was transferred to other funds
pursuant to Control Section 24.10 (b) of the annual Budget Act.

n = Direct.
n  =  Indirect.
n  =  None.

California State Auditor Report 2017-126

April 2018

Recommendations
Legislature
To ensure consistent funding streams for state and county
programs, the Legislature should consider whether, and to what
extent, to fund the programs that currently receive penalty and fee
revenue from criminal and traffic violations. The Legislature could
adjust or eliminate individual penalties and fees by considering the
following factors identified in our report:
•  Revenue trends and the reliability of penalties and fees as
funding sources.
•  The significant financial impact of penalties and fees on
low‑income individuals
•  How well aligned the uses of penalty and fee revenues are with
the offenses that give rise to the penalty or fee.
•  The seemingly arbitrary amount of the penalty or fee.
To accomplish this, over the next two‑year period the Legislature
should review the penalties and fees and the programs that receive
the penalty and fee revenue to determine the programs’ needs.
If the Legislature determines that a particular penalty or fee is not
appropriate for generating revenue for a particular program, it
should consider requiring the affected department to identify other
funding sources or reduce the program’s scope of services.
The Legislature should consider revising state law to redirect all or
part of the penalty revenue to the State Penalty Fund and using the
budget process to allocate funds to align with legislative priorities.

25

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California State Auditor Report 2017-126

April 2018

We conducted this audit under the authority vested in the California State Auditor by Section 8543
et seq. of the California Government Code and according to generally accepted government auditing
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate
evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives
specified in the Scope and Methodology section of the report. We believe that the evidence obtained
provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.
Respectfully submitted,

ELAINE M. HOWLE, CPA
State Auditor
Date:		

April 26, 2018

Staff:		
Nicholas Kolitsos, CPA, Audit Principal
		
Jordan Wright, CFE
		
Michelle J. Sanders		
		Wren Greaney
		
Yuhan Lu
		
Hunter Wang, CFE
		Kevin Wedman
		
Sean Wiedeman, MBA
Legal Counsel:	 Mary K. Lundeen, Sr. Staff Counsel
For questions regarding the contents of this report, please contact
Margarita Fernández, Chief of Public Affairs, at 916.445.0255.

California State Auditor Report 2017-126

27

April 2018

Appendix
REVENUE, EXPENDITURES, AND YEAR‑END FUND
BALANCES OF STATE AND COUNTY FUNDS THAT RECEIVE
PENALTY AND FEE REVENUE
The Audit Committee requested that the State Auditor identify the
total revenue, expenditures, and fiscal year‑end fund balances for
each of the state funds that received revenue from penalties and
fees for traffic violations in fiscal years 2014–15 through 2016–17.
We present this information in Table A.1. Additionally, the Audit
Committee requested that for a selection of four counties, we
identify the total revenue, total and types of expenditures, and
fiscal year‑end fund balances for each of the local funds that
received revenue from traffic violation penalties and fees in fiscal
years 2014–15 through 2016–17. As described in the Introduction,
we selected the counties of Los Angeles, Merced, Sacramento, and
San Mateo for our analysis. We present the counties’ information
in Table A.2 beginning on page 30.
Table A.1
Revenue, Expenditures, and Year-End Fund Balances for State Funds that Receive Penalty Revenue
FISCAL
YEAR

2016–17

FUND

State Penalty Fund

2015–16
2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16

Fish and Game
Preservation Fund

2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17

Restitution Fund

2015–16
2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16

Peace Officers’
Training Fund †

2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16
2014–15
Subtotals

Driver Training Penalty
Assessment Fund

REVENUE

EXPENDITURES

PENALTY
REVENUE

% REVENUE
MADE UP BY
PENALTIES

REVENUE NET OF
EXPENDITURES

YEAR-END FUND
BALANCE*

$94,788,274

$94,788,274

$92,475,546

97.6%

$0

NA

106,113,799

106,113,799

103,337,830

97.4%

0

NA

97.3%

0

NA

121,378,008

121,378,008

118,147,899

$322,280,081

$322,280,081

$313,961,275

$98,447,952

$115,705,568

$400,279

0.4%

$(17,257,616)

$69,767,000

97,125,170

105,776,803

423,636

0.4%

(8,651,633)

75,771,000

0.5%

(10,927,302)

78,640,000

$0

92,658,414

103,585,716

464,779

$288,231,536

$325,068,087

$1,288,694

$122,238,723

$74,540,885

$29,172,956

23.9%

$47,697,838

$99,702,000

72,205,307

127,484,537

33,089,881

45.8%

(55,279,230)

49,110,000

36.1%

21,146,105

105,556,000

$(36,836,551)

106,239,777

85,093,672

38,394,040

$300,683,807

$287,119,094

$100,656,877

$31,108,132

$31,216,027

$23,291,619

74.9%

$(107,895)

$4,991,000

37,308,214

44,653,828

25,419,906

68.1%

(7,345,614)

16,499,000

77.2%

(14,006,362)

19,359,000

$13,564,713

37,181,804

51,188,166

28,687,154

$105,598,150

$127,058,021

$77,398,679

$23,414,911

$23,342,911

$23,414,911

100.0%

$71,999

$1,001,000

26,544,429

27,212,032

26,511,157

99.9%

(667,602)

457,000

100.0%

309,913

1,175,000

30,732,009

30,422,096

30,732,009

$80,691,349

$80,977,039

$80,658,077

$(21,459,871)

$(285,690)
continued on next page . . .

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California State Auditor Report 2017-126

April 2018

FISCAL
YEAR

2016–17

FUND

Corrections Training Fund†

REVENUE

EXPENDITURES

PENALTY
REVENUE

% REVENUE
MADE UP BY
PENALTIES

$17,347,886

$24,256,465

$7,490,038

43.2%

2015–16

18,078,591

12,239,960

8,274,400

2014–15

19,223,091

21,513,895

9,422,896

$54,649,568

$58,010,320

$25,187,334

$717,252

$842,409

$710,659

Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16

Local Public Prosecutors
and Public Defenders
Training Fund

REVENUE NET OF
EXPENDITURES

YEAR-END FUND
BALANCE*

$(6,908,579)

$3,140,000

45.8%

5,838,630

7,873,000

49.0%

(2,290,805)

4,030,000

$(3,360,754)
99.1%

$(125,157)

$1,218,000

749,215

856,862

745,362

99.5%

(107,647)

1,212,000

830,805

858,473

828,124

99.7%

(27,668)

1,239,000

$2,297,272

$2,557,744

$2,284,145

$12,016,388

$13,742,333

$7,871,777

65.5%

$(1,725,945)

13,080,264

17,983,351

8,912,693

68.1%

(4,903,087)

6,837,000

24,717,495

17,674,540

10,331,685

41.8%

7,042,955

11,196,000

$49,814,147

$49,400,224

$27,116,155

$1,105,093

$896,734

$601,327

1,308,606

919,412

680,843

789,242

837,983

789,242

$3,202,941

$2,654,129

$2,071,412

$54,684,105

$54,831,022

$54,615,038

99.9%

$(146,917)

$6,158,000

2015–16

59,796,761

66,763,329

59,709,445

99.9%

(6,966,568)

10,353,000

2014–15

68,232,538

70,949,857

68,150,476

99.9%

(2,717,319)

23,375,000

$182,713,404

$192,544,208

$182,474,959

$6,975,872

$8,116,230

$6,934,162

99.4%

$(1,140,358)

$2,052,000

2015–16

7,690,958

11,672,088

7,661,377

99.6%

(3,981,130)

3,402,000

2014–15

8,595,056

16,860,911

8,543,270

99.4%

(8,265,855)

261,000

$23,261,886

$36,649,229

$23,138,809

$97,311,512

$111,724,596

$53,484,687

55.0%

$(14,413,084)

378,985,799

137,737,539

61,410,298

16.2%

241,248,260

430,281,000

240,624,674

185,692,017

71,487,122

29.7%

54,932,657

461,540,000

$716,921,985

$435,154,152

$186,382,107

$236,922,203

$252,114,327

$123,335,902

2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16

Victim-Witness
Assistance Fund†

2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16

Traumatic Brain
Injury Fund†

2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17

DNA Identification Fund

Subtotals
2016–17

EMAT Act Fund

Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16

State Court Facilities
Construction Fund

2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17
2015–16

Immediate and Critical
Needs Account

2014–15
Subtotals
2016–17

Trial Court Trust Fund

$(260,472)
$4,829,000

$413,923
54.4%

$208,359

$405,000

52.0%

389,194

378,000

100.0%

(48,741)

427,000

$548,812

$(9,830,804)

$(13,387,343)
$411,008,000

$281,767,833
52.1%

$(15,192,124)

$269,008,000

234,339,883

169,070,503

139,990,985

59.7%

65,269,380

304,267,000

261,095,304

190,297,184

164,178,464

62.9%

70,798,120

254,104,000

$732,357,390

$611,482,014

$427,505,351

$1,367,510,247

$1,331,234,492

$109,373,333

$120,875,376
8.0%

$36,275,755

$173,477,000

2015–16

1,352,227,100

1,309,250,640

123,460,765

9.1%

42,976,460

78,338,000

2014–15

1,465,995,838

1,464,160,459

143,296,117

9.8%

1,835,379

75,512,000

$4,185,733,185

$4,104,645,591

$376,130,215

Subtotals

$81,087,594

California State Auditor Report 2017-126

29

April 2018

FISCAL
YEAR

2016–17

FUND

State General Fund

REVENUE

EXPENDITURES

PENALTY
REVENUE

% REVENUE
MADE UP BY
PENALTIES

REVENUE NET OF
EXPENDITURES

YEAR-END FUND
BALANCE*

$122,605,426,496

$126,858,946,528

37,260,126

0.03%

$(4,253,520,032)

$3,750,297,000

2015–16

120,413,915,840

123,585,483,191

41,652,214

0.03%

(3,171,567,351)

3,833,807,000

2014–15

116,388,676,316

115,847,671,224

46,745,059

0.04%

541,005,092

4,790,986,000

$359,408,018,652

$366,292,100,943

$125,657,399

Subtotals
2016–17 Total Penalty Revenue

$(6,884,082,291)

477,956,814 ‡

Source:  California State Auditor’s analysis of data from the State Controller’s fiscal system.
Note:  The data for penalty and fee revenue that the State collects are an aggregate of all criminal penalties and fees, including those added to traffic and
nontraffic violations.
NA = All revenue initially collected in the State Penalty Fund was then transferred to other funds.
*	 Year-end fund balance includes transactions recognized in the fiscal year when they occurred, regardless of when cash was received or disbursed.
†	 Revenue deposited in the Driver Training Penalty Assessment Fund was transferred to the indicated funds pursuant to Control Section 24.10 (b) of the annual
Budget Act.
‡	 The fiscal year 2016–17 total penalty revenue amount does not include the State Penalty Fund to avoid double counting as it is a pass-through fund.

n = Increased from year to year.
n  =  Fluctuated from year to year.
n  =  Decreased from year to year.

30

California State Auditor Report 2017-126

April 2018

Table A.2
Revenues, Expenditures, and Fund Balances for County Funds That Receive Penalty Revenue
FISCAL
YEAR

FUND

REVENUE

EXPENDITURES

REVENUE NET OF
EXPENDITURES

YEAR-END FUND
BALANCE

Sacramento County
2016–17

$1,464,290

$1,440,000

$24,290

$240,154

1,672,978

1,740,000

(67,022)

215,864

1,752,245

1,800,000

(47,755)

282,886

1,245,004

1,260,000

(14,996)

202,415

1,417,680

1,300,000

117,680

217,412

1,473,332

1,480,000

(6,668)

99,731

365,998

365,998

0

0

2015–16

428,484

428,484

0

0

2014–15

454,312

454,312

0

0

1,350,909

1,350,909

0

0

1,533,284

1,533,284

0

0

1,610,303

1,610,303

0

0

220,214

157,298

62,916

1,992,103

2015–16

Criminal Justice Facilities
Construction Fund*

2014–15
2016–17
2015–16

Courthouse Construction
Fund*

2014–15
2016–17

2016–17

DNA Identification Fund†

Maddy EMS Fund

2015–16
2014–15
2016–17
2015–16

Automated Fingerprint
Identification Fund

2014–15

263,906

157,357

106,549

1,929,187

326,143

114,790

211,353

1,822,638

$75,092

$336,414

$(261,322)

$69,906

75,002

0

75,002

331,228

73,216

61,118

12,099

256,226

Merced County
2016–17
2015–16

Automated Fingerprint
Identification Fund

2014–15
2016–17

Courthouse Construction Fund

342,611

340,452

2,159

52,971

342,228

361,917

(19,689)

50,812

339,790

340,468

(678)

70,501

120,691

10,187

110,505

1,019,682

2015–16

115,316

18,927

96,390

909,177

2014–15

107,377

851

106,526

812,788

2015–16
2014–15
2016–17

2016–17

DNA Identification Fund

Maddy EMS Fund

2015–16
2014–15
2016–17
2015–16
2014–15

Criminal Justice Facilities
Construction Fund

709,620

850,946

(141,326)

188,618

730,193

743,060

(12,867)

329,944

715,682

643,797

71,885

342,811

345,307

0

345,307

437,737

346,774

550,000

(203,226)

92,430

345,253

550,000

(204,747)

295,656

$974,165

$1,222,980

$(248,815)

$172,725

San Mateo County
2016–17

Courthouse Construction Fund

2015–16

979,591

1,376,103

(396,512)

421,541

2014–15

1,112,077

1,135,270

(23,193)

818,053

2016–17
2015–16
2014–15

Criminal Justice Facilities
Construction Fund

940,146

1,100,000

(159,854)

1,504,465

993,971

1,100,000

(106,029)

1,664,319

1,118,987

1,100,000

18,987

1,770,348

California State Auditor Report 2017-126

April 2018

FISCAL
YEAR

2016–17

FUND

EXPENDITURES

REVENUE NET OF
EXPENDITURES

YEAR-END FUND
BALANCE

227,172

249,909

(22,737)

2015–16

250,937

379,634

(128,698)

1,437,193

2014–15

297,522

172,624

124,898

1,565,890

2016–17

DNA Identification Fund

REVENUE

Maddy EMS Fund *

2015–16
2014–15
2016–17
2015–16

Automated Fingerprint
Identification Fund*

1,414,456

1,702,450

1,805,861

(103,412)

2,302,481

2,077,111

2,483,392

(406,281)

2,405,892

2,342,824

2,545,308

(202,484)

2,812,173

948,661

951,249

(2,589)

214,313

932,121

982,909

(50,788)

216,902

965,930

1,266,709

(300,779)

267,690

$13,965,792

$15,064,004

($1,098,212)

$62,965,138

15,238,925

6,961,071

8,277,854

64,063,350

18,862,207

9,635,946

9,226,261

55,785,496

11,987,484

14,831,327

(2,843,843)

19,497,391

13,256,053

20,803,070

(7,547,017)

22,341,235

15,231,031

25,278,014

(10,046,983)

29,888,252

2,313,134

911,470

1,401,664

1,610,871

2015–16

2,751,495

4,876,603

(2,125,109)

209,208

2014–15

3,347,414

3,254,078

93,336

2,334,316

16,245,138

16,409,480

(164,342)

1,245,518

18,498,885

18,829,244

(330,359)

1,409,860

22,958,580

23,111,372

(152,792)

1,740,219

7,829,005

7,829,737

(732)

18,318

2014–15
Los Angeles County
2016–17
2015–16

Criminal Justice Facilities
Construction Fund*

2014–15
2016–17

Courthouse Construction Fund*

2015–16
2014–15
2016–17

2016–17

DNA Identification Fund*

Maddy EMS Fund*

2015–16
2014–15
2016–17
2015–16

Health Services-Physicians
Services Fund*

2014–15
2016–17
2015–16

Health Services-Hospital
Services Fund*

2014–15
2016–17
2015–16

Automated Fingerprint
Identification Fund*

2014–15

8,907,712

8,888,693

19,020

19,050

11,025,496

11,038,642

(13,146)

30

4,518,586

9,489,552

(4,970,966)

5,301,575

6,038,225

321,525

5,716,700

10,272,540

7,956,885

5,928,292

2,028,593

4,555,841

10,656,298

8,516,082

2,140,216

79,470,913

10,288,506

6,668,080

3,620,426

77,330,696

10,532,056

9,056,483

1,475,573

73,710,270

Source:  California State Auditor’s analysis of data from county records.
Note:  County funds may have other revenue in addition to penalties. The data for penalty and fee revenue that the counties collect
are an aggregate of all criminal penalties and fees, including those added to traffic and nontraffic violations.
*	 Fund includes transactions recognized in the fiscal year when they occurred, regardless of when cash was received or disbursed.
†	 The Sacramento County DNA Identification Fund expenditures are split between the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s
Office to reimburse a portion of their DNA-related expenditures.

n = Increased from year to year.
n  =  Fluctuated from year to year.
n  =  Decreased from year to year.

31

 

 

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