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July 03, 2012

LA City Council OKs $5 Parking Fine Hikes

KNX-1070 News Radio Los Angeles

Reporting by Claudia Peschiutta, KNX 1070


LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The City Council approved an ordinance to raise parking fines by $5 on Tuesday as part of an overall plan to help balance the city's budget.

But as KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports, some fear the move could disproportionately impact lower-income residents of high-density neighborhoods.

Council members voted unanimously to raise overnight parking fines to $68; expired meter will pay $63; and drivers caught parking in a red zone will be fined $93.

But it's the increase for street sweeping violations up to $73 that has Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition For Economic Survival, warning of class warfare.

"This fine has nothing to do with the reality of the infraction," said Gross. "What the city is doing here is trying to balance the budget on the backs of those who can least afford to pay."

The vote is part of a budget plan proposed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to reduce a $238 million deficit and help fund an additional $8.4 million to the city's general fund every year.

Gross specifically took issue with the increased fine for street sweeping violations as a blatant attempt to exploit residents in such areas as Westlake, Koreatown, or Pico-Union whose "chances of finding a parking space are equivalent to hitting the lottery".

"You have a much higher chance of receiving a ticket than if you're a homeowner living in Woodland Hills, Brentwood or Westchester," he said.



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