A Jefferson circuit judge is scheduled to hold a hearing Monday on an injunction request filed by the local Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP wants to stop the city from raising the fees for take-home cars.
Earlier this year, to cope with a budget shortfall, Mayor Jerry Abramson set a 30 dollar monthly fee for officers who want to drive their cruisers home, $60 if the officers used their cars for other jobs. Then, to further cope with a deeper shortfall this month, Abramson raised those fees to $100 and $160 per month, respectively.
The FOP says those changes must be made through contract negotiations. Abramson says the fees aren’t related to salaries, but to job perks.
“It is a tax-free benefit to the officer, receiving the use of the car for personal use, the use of the car without paying gas,” says Abramson. “The taxpayers pay the gas, the taxpayers pay the maintenance, the taxpayers pay the insurance.”
Officers have been given until December 29th to opt out of the program.