Revenue Neutrality and Government

Sioux Falls is one of many cities which has implemented stop-light cameras. To date, it only has a single camera. Last Thursday, Mayor Munson testified in a lawsuit which is addressing the legality of such an installation:

The city pays a flat fee to the company for camera operations, City Attorney R. Shawn Tornow said, and money collected from the $86 traffic violations is used to pay that fee, as well as the wages of the police who review the pictures and the examiners who hear administrative appeals.”The mayor testified that the money from the Redflex program is basically revenue-neutral,” Tornow said.

It would seem, based on the the above quote, that because the camera pays for itself (no more, no less) this fact somehow negates the arguments against having the camera. I realize that such neutrality may be a bit of an anomaly when compared with other places who look at them to generate additional revenue, but I don’t see the benefit of the argument.