Municipalities across the state stand to lose thousands of dollars in revenue if a proposal by Gov. Tom Corbett comes to fruition.
But some York County municipal officials say the loss of money won't greatly affect their budgets.
Currently, municipalities that rely on state police for police protection get a portion of the revenue from citations issued in their municipality.
Corbett's proposed 2012-13 budget recommends cutting off that revenue and funneling the funds to state police instead.
Todd Zeigler, Shrewsbury Township manager, said between 2009 and 2011 the township received an average of $10,100 annually in revenue generated from citations issued by state police troopers.
"No one likes to lose money, but this won't have a great impact on our budget," he said.
State increase: Under current law, municipalities receive 50 percent of the fine revenue from state police, and the other 50 percent goes to the state's motor license fund under the state Department of Transportation.
State police would receive about $8 million if they get money destined for the municipalities, said
Maria Finn, state police spokeswoman.
That money would be used to purchase equipment for troopers, including radio equipment and other protective devices, she said.
Troopers provide part-time or full-time service to nearly 70 percent of the municipalities in the state, comprising 27 percent of the population, Finn said.
Those municipalities don't have to pay additional fees for the service.
'Way it should be': David Wisnom, a Hopewell Township supervisor, said the proposal makes sense to him.
"What he (Corbett) is proposing is the way it should be," Wisnom said.
Hopewell Township received $9,208 in fine money last year and would go without it under the proposal.
That pales in comparison to the upwards of $847,860 the township would have to pay for state police service if a bill in the House that calls for municipalities to pay for coverage were passed and signed into law.
State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster County, presented a bill more than a year ago that would charge municipalities that don't have their own departments or contract from local police. The fee would be $52 per resident the first year, $104 per resident the second year and $156 the third and each subsequent year.
That bill was referred to the judiciary committee in March 2011 and it remains there.
Against: Most of the municipalities that rely on state police for coverage are rural and don't have the large tax base more heavily populated municipalities have.
Rebecca Bradshaw, Warrington Township manager, said she hopes state legislators "keep small municipalities in mind" as they consider the proposal.
With a budget of about $800,000, the $7,600 the township would be forced to forgo wouldn't "make or break" the township, but Bradshaw said any loss of revenue isn't ideal.
"I hope it doesn't pass," she said. "Every year the state seems to make more (money) from us."
If Sturla's bill were to become law, Warrington Township would have to pay upwards of $416,988 for state police coverage.
In order for the altered fine-sharing to go into place, the General Assembly would have to pass legislation, and the governor would have to sign it into law, Finn said.
"I have not seen a bill outlining the details on the fund distribution," she said.
Fair: A. Carville "Peck" Foster Jr., a Springfield Township supervisor, said he doesn't understand why municipalities receive the revenue in the first place.
"We don't do anything to earn that revenue," he said. "There's no definitive reason the township should get that money."
Last year, Springfield Township received a little more than $10,000 in fine revenue. Foster said he'd much rather see the township lose $10,000 than have to pay the $803,712 it would be charged for state police service the third and each subsequent year under Sturla's bill.
"I think we need to look at this as what's fair is fair," he said. "Logically speaking, this money (fine revenue) should go to the state police."
-- Reach Greg Gross at 505-5434, email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/greggrss.