Los Angeles City Council Approves Increase in Parking Fines

Citing a $238 million budget gap, the council voted to add $5 to each parking ticket fine

By John Cadiz Klemack and Olga Spilewsky
|  Tuesday, Jul 3, 2012  |  Updated 7:18 PM PDT
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The Los Angeles City Council has voted to approve an increase in ticket fines of at least $5 on all parking violations. The increase is expected to bring $8.4 million into the city's stretched budget. John Cadiz Klemack reports from Downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 3, 2012.

John Cádiz Klemack

The Los Angeles City Council has voted to approve an increase in ticket fines of at least $5 on all parking violations. The increase is expected to bring $8.4 million into the city's stretched budget. John Cadiz Klemack reports from Downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 3, 2012.

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You may want to watch your meter, Angelenos and visitors to the City of Angels. Parking ticket fines are increasing once again in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an increase of $5 on all violations. Late fees will go up $10.

"This is not a tax in any sense of the imagination," City Councilman Dennis Zine said. "It’s a fee when you commit a violation. How do you avoid it? Obey the law."

Despite that logic, some residents said Tuesday they weren't too happy about the vote, which will bring expired-meter violations to $63. Street-cleaning parking tickets will rise to $73.

"The city is going to do what it’s going to do at this point to make money," said LA resident Rinzi Ruiz. "We don’t have a choice. Parking’s pretty expensive as it is."

Five dollars may not sound like much. But, when it’s on top of an already hefty fine, some Angelenos said they feel cheated by a city money-grab. Others said tickets target a particular group of Angelenos -- those with lower incomes.

"I think it’s hurting people who live in apartments, who can’t afford tickets," said Justin Silverman, LA resident. "You live in a home, you have a driveway."

The city is facing a $238 million budget shortfall, and proponents of the fine increase said the money from the higher penalties was needed. The additional $5 for tickets and $10 for late fees is expected to bring in an additional $8.4 million into the budget.

For a full list of the LA city parking fines, see the draft LA city ordinance that was approved.

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