City Council may Cap Parking Ticket Late Fees

Capping the $16 a month late fee sounds good to me, though it may be too late to affect my several overdue parking tickets.

There are a few plans in the works.

This is the best one, from Councilman Jack Young:

Young's bill originally capped the penalties at three times the face value of the ticket, a cap that was initially opposed by the both the city finance department and the police department. The finance department argued that parking scofflaws were primarily not city residents, and that limiting the fines would be a disincentive for violators to pay.
However, I seriously doubt the city would give up such a large amount of revenue, so most likely the cap won't really be a cap at all, but simply a reduction of the amount of the monthly late fee.

As Councilman Robert Curran notes:

Curran said a compromise was necessary to get backing from the finance department, though he still thinks the monthly late penalty is too high. "I would have liked to have reduced the penalty rate from $16 a month to $12. I think $16 is usury," he said.
So what is $12, usury-lite? If the city is serious about this, they should go with Young's plan or at least include something to eventually stop the fees from piling up. Often, parking tickets stuffed under windshield wipers in Fells Point end up in the Bay, victims of the high wind. The same can be said for cars parked anywhere in the city. Either way, the late fees are out of control, and I know firsthand. Lets hope Councilman Young's bill makes it into law.

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