1 Out Of 3 Flint Parking Tickets Go Unpaid 7-27-2010 - WNEM TV 5

1 Out Of 3 Flint Parking Tickets Go Unpaid 7-27-2010

Placing a ticket underneath your windshield wiper is probably the easiest, fastest, most immediate way that a city can gain revenue, especially during a tough economy.
But collecting the money is the problem, and that's why a state representative, Rep. Roy Schmidt, D-Grand Rapids, decided to up the ante by introducing legislation to lower the number of tolerated outstanding parking tickets you can have.
"If you don't pay it, you shouldn't have the privilege like everyone else does,” said Flint resident Patricia Marshall, talking about people who skip out on paying their tickets. She told TV5 reporter Julie Banovic she agrees with what lawmakers are trying to do.
The proposed legislation has been pushed through the state House and is waiting for Senate approval.
The law basically states anyone with three or more unpaid parking tickets will be prevented from renewing his or her license and the secretary of state could suspend your license.
"It’s a privilege to drive, why shouldn't you be suspended for that?” said Marshall.
Over the past three years, Flint's Downtown Development Authority issued 11,093 tickets. TV5 did the math and discovered that works out to a whopping $351,700 worth of tickets.
To date, the authority still has an outstanding balance of $129,000, many of them owed by repeat offenders.
"We could use every penny we can get,” said Marshall. “Flint needs it.”
Flint may need it, but TV5 discovered the collected money doesn't get dumped into the city's general fund. It covers costs for the DDA and leftover money helps pay for the parking decks downtown.
The proposed bill, HB 4726, may also tack on driver responsibility fees for as much as $45 to reel in those who refuse to pay.
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