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Income-Adjusted Parking Ticket Fines Proposed By City Councilor Mejia

At-large City Councilor Julia Mejia introduced a proposal for income-adjusted fines for parking violations at a recent Boston City Council meeting.

According to Mejia, parking tickets should be reflective of Boston residents’ financial situations. She believes that residents shouldn’t be placed in a position where they’re forced to choose between paying parking tickets or putting food on the table.

In 2018, parking ticket fines increased across eleven City parking violations including an increase from $25 to $40 for overstaying the meter. Because many low-income Bostonians live in car-dependent areas, accessing the Greater Boston area becomes more difficult when paired with the increased parking violation fines.

The proposal was met with scrutiny from other city councilors who believed the best approach to the issue isn’t through income-reduced parking tickets.

City Councilor Lydia Edwards (District 1) agreed that parking violation fines deserve closer consideration to determine the impact they have on Boston residents. However, she noted that more suitable approaches could involve “ticket not tow” programs or interest free payment plans for paying off parking tickets.

According to City Councilor Matt O’Malley (District 6), focusing on creative ways to address the city’s parking through means such as more metered parking would better address the issue. He also suggested that alternative transportation such as increased bike networks and bike shares should be considered.

Mejia’s proposal would potentially entail bringing your income tax report to City Hall in order to pay a sliding scale for your ticket, worrying some who believe this would only complicate the process of paying parking tickets.

In a recent NorthEndWaterfront.com poll, 84% of participating readers voted against this change to income-adjusted parking tickets. Read what some local residents had to say in the comments section.

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19 Replies to “Income-Adjusted Parking Ticket Fines Proposed By City Councilor Mejia

  1. “Residents should not be forced into a choice of paying parking tickets or putting food on the table” Total BS. Residents should obey the parking laws & they would not have to worry about paying parking tickets.

  2. If illegal parking compromises your life, wouldn’t you be more careful parking? How about not patrolling low income neighborhoods and just let them park where they please? Remember the little girl in Southie that burned to death because cars were illegally parked preventing the 1st Responders from getting equipment to her building. How much should those car owners have been fined?

  3. It’s a rather foolish and ignorant proposition. The same government that seeks to collect taxes and fees on everything is saying that people are hungry because of parking tickets? People might be hungry because of property taxes, which also drive up rents. Come on, what happens when you don’t pay your parking fines? What happens when you don’t pay your taxes? This proposition ignores the obvious. Seems to be something to put on the resume, while just ignoring the real issues and maintaining the status quo.

  4. It’s the same government that will now allow lottery players to be able to buy scratch tickets by using debit cards.Of course that’s only the begining soon debit cards will be accepted for all lottery games plus the sports betting that I guarantee is on the horizon. From what I heard the Encore Casino already has an area for sports betting. I wonder how many people go hungry because of the MA State Lottery?

    1. Michael D~I couldn’t agree with you more. you are 110% right. I worked in housing for 26 years and the same people that couldn’t afford their “Market Rate Rents” in Boston,(and constantly complained about the amount of rent they had to pay) were going to Foxwoods every weekend and gambling. I work a full time job and haven’t been to Foxwoods or Encore. I don’t own a car for the past 16 years because I can’t afford it.
      I know my priorities.
      What will these City Councilors come up with next??

  5. This is a work class stupid idea. No one is “forced” into a position of buying food or paying rent. Anyone who finds themselves in that position PUT themselves in that position. They were not FORCED; they did it voluntarily. I have little sympathy for anyone in that position. Behave differently (and lawfully) next time and voila! no problem.

    1. Not everyone voluntarily puts themselves in a position of having to choose between paying a parking ticket or buying food. Sometimes s#$t happens and people find themselves in a difficult situation. A job loss, an illness, outsourcing, the position of the moon in conjunction with Venus all can result in a financial disaster for ANYONE including you.

  6. How about not getting a ticket and follow the law??? Is that too much to ask for?

    Also seems to be somewhat illegal and discriminatory towards people who can “afford” paying for a ticket.

    This is the sort of stuff that makes Democrats out of touch….

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