RALEIGH — Sex offenders would have to pay an annual fine to be listed on the state’s sex offender registry under a bill proposed by N.C. Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover.
“There is a cost to continuing to have them on that registry,” Davis said. “The point of this is to get revenue to keep these people on the sex offender registry.” House Bill 684 calls for sex offenders to pay an initial and annual fee of $90 to be on the registry. The money would be directed to county sheriff’s offices to offset the costs associated with registering sex offenders, according to the bill.
Failure to pay the fee does not mean a registered sex offender isn’t listed on the registry — the state attorney general’s office could sue to collect unpaid fees, according to the bill. Many states require fees to be listed on the registry. In Tennessee, for example, the fee is $150 per year.
Cristina Becker, criminal justice debt fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU), said the bill could amount to adding an additional burden to someone who has served their jail term, serves on probation, lives under the restriction of the sex offender registry and is already facing a host of other fees associated with their conviction.