How Parking Tickets Could Help Cities Avert Budget Disasters

August 5 2009, 10:47 AM

As Denver wrangles with perhaps the worst budget situation it has faced since the Great Depression, it has a potential windfall of approximately $20 million---if only the city can collect it. That's the amount in unpaid parking tickets owed to Denver, according to 7News, and most of the fines are about five or six years old, with some dating back 20 years. In some cases, the owners who racked them up are either dead or in prison. Still, collection agents have reaped $2 million from parking scofflaws in the last two years. City Councilman Charlie Brown wants collections to be even more aggressive and also suggests a 30-day amnesty in which violations would be reduced to the initial fee plus a $10 processing fee. No decision has been made yet. And Denver isn't the only city that could reap big bucks from parking fines. Fort Collins, for instance, is owed $1.5 million. And drivers who live and work near Colorado State University will be happy to know the parking glut around campus will loosen up a bit following the construction of an 860-space parking garage, the Coloradoan writes. In Vail, something almost magical has happened: A parking task force has recommended to not raise parking fees for next winter's influx of skiers, the Vail Daily reports.