Los Angeles Parking Tickets Not Disappearing

Almost nothing is more irritating than running out to put money in a parking meter and finding a $68 ticket on your car windshield.

But you can soothe your anger by realizing that you are doing your part to help the city net about $42 million a year in parking citation revenue.

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In January, City Controller Ron Galperin released the results of a study his office conducted on parking tickets—“Street Talk: Parking Tickets in LA.” (Visit: lacontroller.org/parking_tickets)—that was unveiled in January.

The most frequently issued tickets were for street cleaning (26 percent), expired me- ters (23 percent) and expired registration tabs (10 percent). Parking meter revenues are separately collected and deposited into the city’ special parking revenue fund.

Initially in January, Mayor Eric Garcetti was working on a plan to reduce parking fines, but in a Jan. 11 letter to the mayor, Galperin urged caution.

The controller explained that in the 2015-16 fiscal year, the city generated nearly $147.9 million in parking ticket revenues. In doing so, it also incurred more than $106.2 million in expenses (salaries and administrative costs), which means the cost of issuing tickets eats up roughly three- quarters of the subsequent revenue.

Still, the remaining $41.6 million helps to pay for city services such as police, fire and street resurfacing.

Galperin warned Garcetti to act with caution because the city is facing significant liability claims, potential cuts in federal grants and a projected $245-million budget shortfall for 2016-17.

In fiscal year 2014-15, LADOT traffic officers spent almost 78 percent of their time on parking enforcement; the rest was spent on directing traffic and responding to radio calls.

Galperin’s data also revealed that the city employs the equivalent of 10 full-time traffic officers who give tickets to the two biggest recipients of parking tickets: UPS and FedEx, which together received more than 45,000 tickets in one year alone. These companies see tickets as a cost of doing business, and Galperin urged the city to explore alternative approaches to citation and collection.

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