BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston City Councilor would like to see parking ticket fines based on how much money a driver makes.
She believes income-based parking tickets would ease the financial burden on lower-income families because they would pay a smaller fine when they get a ticket in Boston.
According to the city’s website, parking tickets can range from $15 to $120.
Drivers could soon pay different prices for parking tickets in #Boston depending on how much $ they make. A hearing order on this is expected to be held at a City Council meeting today. Should parking tickets should be income driven or remain the same for everybody? @wbz
— Breana Pitts (@BrePWBZ) February 26, 2020
Mejia’s office said some of those fines increased in 2018. For example, overstaying a meter jumped from $25 to $40. She believes a $40 ticket can force some families to choose between paying the fine or putting food on the table.
“What happens when you’re struggling to juggle all your finances? Then you realize that you are deciding whether or not you are going to pay a parking ticket or put food on the table,” Mejia said. First-term City Counselor Mejia had to pay $159 worth of parking tickets before she took office.
Another possibility would be to allow a driver to pay a fine over time. But how would it be enforced?
But some people say parking penalties should be the same for everyone.
“I disagree with it. The parking rules are in effect for everybody and if you don’t want to get a ticket, don’t park illegally,” one man in Boston told WBZ-TV Wednesday. “What do you do, bring your W2 income tax form? I don’t know. Then you have to go to City Hall for a hearing that will take up your time if you’re working. I don’t see how it makes sense.”
“Someone who doesn’t make a lot of money and is trying to get to their job for some reason. I feel like it makes sense to give people the benefit of the doubt,” said another woman.
The Boston City Council has agreed to at least talk about the idea.
“I don’t think people should just get away from paying their fee. I think we have to find ways to make it easier for people to pay that debt,” Mejia said.
The idea was simply introduced on Wednesday. The next step would be for Boston City Council to hold a public hearing. No date for such a hearing has been scheduled yet.