HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – If you have at least three unpaid parking tickets in Harrisburg, expect to get the boot.
The city is looking to collect $2 million in unpaid parking tickets to help Harrisburg balance its annual budget.
Collectors will become more aggressive when going after overdue parking fines in the Standard Parking system. According to a Harrisburg Strong recovery plan update, there are 20,000 outstanding parking tickets as of May.
Harrisburg’s Recovery Plan Coordinator, Fred Reddig, wrote in the report that there are 15,000 from 2014, 5,000 in 2015. The problem began when a process to handle overdue parking tickets within the judicial system was not clearly constructed in the Asset Transfer Agreement, as abc27 first reported last summer.
When the issue was settled in November, district justice offices were bombarded with backlogged court cases. This has left about $2 million on the table according to projections. Reddig stated that only $650,000 has been collected to date, $350,000 this year alone.
The loss in revenues could have bugger implications on the budget, leaving quite a gap. That is why Reddig said the parking system managers, Dauphin County President Judge, and City have been working to expedite collections.
Reddig stated that Standard Parking would soon boot vehicles of drivers that have at least three unpaid parking tickets. One worker said that a third-party company to perform the booting has not been named as of yet.
According to the Asset Transfer Agreement, the violator would have to settle the outstanding fines, court fees, and removal fees before a boot would come off.
Marvin Dixon said that news certainly got his attention.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “Nobody has that kind of money just laying around just to give out to get a boot off your car.”
Dixon admits he’s accrued several tickets while living downtown since the meters have been installed.
“I’ve got quite a few,” he said. “It’s like wasted money. I put quarters in and I run back out and I got a ticket that fast.”
Steve Goldfield, who is also on the recovery team, said there has been a request for additional resources at the magistrate level to help process warrants. Currently, District Justice Barbara Pianka’s Office is handling the outstanding tickets processing about 250 a month.
However, Reddig claimed there are an additional 1,400 new cases every month adding to the backlog. There is a chance that drivers who have accrued at least three overdue tickets in the Standard Parking system may not match the judicial system, yet people like Dixon could get a boot.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “The tickets are too expensive as it is. It’s just robbery.”