Dallas to assess impact of fines, fees though community survey

Dallas to assess impact of fines, fees though community survey

The City of Dallas has launched a community survey to better understand how fines, imposed fees and financial penalties impact community members.

The survey is part of the City’s efforts to address the problem of fines and fees as a means of revenue. The City of Dallas was selected to join the inaugural class of leaders in the Cities & Counties for Fine and Fee Justice network earlier this year. The network, established by PolicyLink, the San Francisco Financial Justice Project, and the Fines and Fees Justice Center, was established to unite local places committed to meaningful fine and fee reform, that works better for people and for government.

This work is part of a growing national movement recognizing the disproportionate fines and fees have on people of color and people who are struggling to make ends meet. For residents living on low incomes, a cascade of consequences sets in when they cannot pay: their debt can grow, their driver’s license can be suspended, their credit score goes down, and their employment and economic mobility opportunities are diminished.

“Since being accepted into the cohort, City staff across multiple departments and external partners have been working diligently to evaluate and assess our current fines and fees structure,” said Chief of Equity and Inclusion Liz Cedillo-Pereira. “Community feedback from the survey is essential and will help us develop a strategy to equitably address fines and fees”

The survey, available in English and Spanish, is open to the public until Dec. 18 and can be found here.

In May 2020, the partners announced ten jurisdictions selected to join the network to pursue bold, innovative solutions to reform unjust fines and fees over the course of 18 months. Dallas joins Allegheny County, PA, Chicago, IL, Durham, NC, Philadelphia, PA, Providence, RI, Sacramento, CA, Seattle/King County, WA, Shelby County, TN, and St. Paul, MN.

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