Reporting Derek Shore
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Parking tickets are causing big problems for Sacramento’s bottom line, but the problem isn’t with people breaking the law, it’s with those who aren’t.
“I do everything I can to avoid them,” said one woman.
The city of Sacramento is saying it appears that parking violators are learning their lesson.
“It’s definitely a deterrent, and I did learn my lesson,” one man said.
Fines generated from parking tickets are dropping dramatically this year.
“But, I think it’s a good thing,” said Sacramento’s Parking Services Manager Howard Chan.
Chan says he had anticipated generating more than $10 million in fines from people whose time expired, those that failed to feed the meter, or those that parked illegally.
However, parking officers are now having a harder time finding people to ticket; and it’s creating a $1.2 million deficit in the city’s budget.
“If you compare this year to 2009, there’s about a 15 percent decrease overall,” said Chan.
Steeper fines may be part of the problem. Since 2009, the cost of an average ticket has risen 42 percent due to increases in state fees. That may have people thinking twice about breaking the law.
“I actually have coins in my car now, in case I forget,” said one woman.
The city has also made it easier to feed the meter with most accepting more than just quarters, and some even taking credit cards now.
“If you make it easier for people to comply, they will,” said Chan.
They say the million-dollar loss will have little impact on 2013′s general fund because the city will be able to make up the difference by using some money left over from 2012′s budget.