Boston city councilor proposes making parking tickets income-adjusted

Boston city councilor proposes making parking tickets income-adjusted

BOSTON — If you routinely park in the city of Boston, you probably know a thing or two about the frustration of getting a parking ticket - and how quickly they can add up.

That’s why Boston City Councilor Julia Mejia is proposing adjusting parking fines based on how much people make.

The idea of income-adjusted parking tickets came to Mejia after she says she accumulated $159 in parking tickets before she was elected into office. Mejia says others shouldn’t be subject to the same fines.

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“I think the parking ticket people do a good job giving out the tickets and they’re not cheap," said Joe Conway, of Boston.

Parking tickets in Boston range anywhere from $5 to $120, and they can accumulate fast.

“Not everybody can afford paying for those tickets they add up quickly," said Agustin Rodriguez, of Boston.

The proposal would lower the price of parking tickets for those with lower income, but it is still unclear how someone would be able to prove income after getting a ticket. Mejia says it could potentially work something like a similar proposal recently introduced in New York City in which city officials verify incomes based on taxes.

“If we can do that with taxes and everything else, lets take it a step further," said Mary Keenan.

“There’s lots of money coming into the city and my main concern is, whose pockets is that money coming out of?” said Mejia.

However, not everyone agrees with the idea.

“If they don’t have the income to pay for it, then is the city even going to get paid or is it going to stay as an outstanding balance," said Malaika Singleton-Towns.

Opponents of the proposal worry that, while it would offer a layer of relief to those in the lowest income bracket, it would subtract a level of fairness and responsibility in parking tickets they believe can be avoided.

“I think everyone should be on a level playing field," said Dan Gross.

Mejia plans to formally introduce her proposal in front of city council in the next couple of weeks. She says she’s hoping for input from city officials, police and others to determine how this could be implemented.