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Fee means Raleigh can grab more late ticket money from tax refunds

Posted June 6, 2012

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— The City Council voted Tuesday to tack on an extra fee for tardy payment of parking tickets, allowing Raleigh to tap the tax returns of first-time offenders to get the money it's owed.

Raleigh officials estimate that drivers owe the city $3.2 million in parking tickets, so the city put its foot down last year and began intercepting the state income tax refund of anyone with more than $50 in unpaid parking citations that are more than six months delinquent in order to pay off their bill.

During the first five months of the program, the city collected $314,000, City Manager Russell Allen said.

"We really do believe that our citizens expect us to make every effort we can to collect from people who have legitimate citations or other amounts they owe the city and make sure we use every method to collect those," Allen said Wednesday.

The new late fee, which is effective in October, takes the program a step further.

Raleigh parking enforcement, parking ticket, meter maid Raleigh cracking down harder on unpaid parking tickets

A $20 parking citation that isn't paid on time nets the driver a $20 late fee. The added $10 late fee kicks in if the ticket remains unpaid after six months, pushing even first-time offenders past the $50 threshold so the city can intercept their tax refunds.

"That's still not right with them just taking it out of my state refund. What if I had that set aside for something else important?" said driver Whitney Campbell, who got a parking ticket downtown Wednesday.

Drivers will get several warning letters first, and some people said that's more than enough notice.

"Make the bill, pay it. Simple as that," driver Sam Frederick said.

35 Comments

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  • fkhaywood Jun 7, 2012

    What if you don't get a tax refund from the State. If I get a refund, I'm not managing my money very well. I don't give interest free loans to the State or Fed, I had rather pay some and get the use of my money throughout the year.

  • beachboater Jun 7, 2012

    ""That's still not right with them just taking it out of my state refund. What if I had that set aside for something else important?" said driver Whitney Campbell, who got a parking ticket downtown Wednesday."

    What if God forbid, you OWED tax at the end of the year. Would you not pay your taxes because you thought you were due a refund and had it earmarked for something? If your a/c or your car quit running, would you not pay the repair bill because you had earmarked that money for something else? I somehow doubt you'll get very far with that arguement.

  • frosty Jun 7, 2012

    Just stay out of downtown Raleigh, I do.

  • zile1porkey Jun 7, 2012

    City has always charged that fee they need to do is cut the ticket price and put change machines downtown so people can pay. Vendors will not give you change to use the machines and if you don't know the system you will get the ticket. Ticket writers stand at your car as soon as meter expires they write.

  • piratepeople2 Jun 7, 2012

    "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"-simple as that, if you owe it-pay it!Be a responsible adult for crying out loud!

  • outhousecat Jun 7, 2012

    I sense a bureaucratic nightmare coming on. Believe me, once they start getting into your refund, you'll be fighting them every year.

    UNC Hospital takes over $300 from my refund every year. Every year I call and have to explain ONE MORE TIME why I don't owe them anything. I really don't understand why the state has become a giant collection agency. How can they just take your money on some agency's word that you owe them?

  • jlp Jun 6, 2012

    Considering Raleigh always seems to be jumping I doubt we will miss the five of you looking for hand-outs of free parking. I think business in Raleigh is doing fine without you. Those of us who enjoy the Raleigh area understand that if you want to play you have to pay.

  • twc Jun 6, 2012

    Taxes are taxes no matter what you call them!

  • jlp Jun 6, 2012

    rachel,

    That wasn't foolishness. That was just another REPUBLICAN (Les Merritt, her predecessor) lacking in the necessary personal responsibility to park legally. She got his license plate when she was elected to the office. Just another politician that thought they were above the law. Then the next holder of that office had to suffer the consequences.

  • jlp Jun 6, 2012

    Here's an idea. Use some of that personal responsibility we hear about from you people and pay your parking tickets. Even better use those powers of personal responsibility to park legally and avoid the ticket all together. That's what I do, no parking tickets and no reason to garnish my refund. Problem solved.

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