Detroit Considers Raising Fines For Parking Violations

| by Will Hagle

The city of Detroit, which filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013, is slowly attempting to find ways to improve its devastated economy. A new proposal suggests that the city reform its parking violation procedures, as Detroit currently pays more to process the fines than it collects. 

According to Fox News, Detroit has three tiers of parking ticket fines: $20, $30 and $100, depending on the level of the violation. The $30 violation, however, costs the city $32 to issue.

In an effort to quit losing money and begin generating revenue, the city is considering raising those fines to a two-tiered system of $45 and $150 tickets. 

Bill Nowling, spokesman for Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, explained that Detroit’s Municipal Parking department typically fails to generate revenue or even break even. According to the Detroit News, the department hasn’t adjusted its rates since 2001, and many of the parking meters throughout the city are actually non-functional.

“It’s another example of the old, antiquated system and processes the city has that creates impediments for anyone trying to do their job,” Nowling said. 

Supporters of raising the parking violation fines estimate that the new structure could bring in an additional $6 million per year for the city. Others, such as city council member Saunteel Jenkins, have voiced concern regarding the financial burden the price increase would place on residents. 

“The fine structure here is one that continues to build. For people already financially distressed, how much more of a burden will this place on them?” Jenkins asked.

The proposal is not scheduled to come to a vote in Detroit city council until Emergency Manager Orr receives a more detailed analysis of the city's parking assets.