City proposes income-based parking fines

National

BOSTON (CNN) – Boston is considering a change to the way it handles parking tickets.

City Councilor Julia Mejia has introduced a proposal for income-based parking fines.

Right now a normal parking fine can range from $15 to $120.

Mejia herself had to pay off $159 worth of parking tickets before she took office.

So she’s asking the council to consider whether there’s a way to base the cost of a ticket on a driver’s income.

“What happens when you’re struggling to juggle all your finances, then you realize that you are either deciding whether or not you are going to pay a parking ticket, or put food on your table,” Mejia said.

Another possibility would allow a driver to pay a fine over time.

But as always, the devil’s in the details.

How would someone prove they have a low income?

And would they have to take time away from work to go to City Hall with that proof?

Here’s what some people had to say about the proposal:

“No way how that would be enforced. What would you do bring your W2 or your income tax form?”

“If you park where you’re not supposed to park, pay the price.”

“Someone who obviously doesn’t make a lot of money and is trying to get to their job for some reason, like I feel like it makes sense to give people the benefit of the doubt.”

City Council decided to at least talk about it.

“I don’t think people should just get away from paying their fee. I think that we have to find ways to be able to make it easier for people to pay that debt,” Mejia said.

The next step in the process would be a public hearing.

No date has been set for that yet.

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