State demands parking fine increase

archive_import

By JASON ECK

Fines for parking violations in Sonora will soon go up.

At tomorrow's Finance Committee meeting, city officials will discuss details of a state-imposed surcharge on all parking tickets: As of Jan. 1, the state requires cities to add $1.50 to parking fines, on top of the $5 it already collects from each ticket.

Since legislation that passed in 1991, the state had been turning parking-ticket money over to counties to help them run courts and jails. But counties are no longer in charge of court operations, so the state wants the money.

City officials were surprised to learn of the increase Friday a month and a half after it was enacted when the Tuolumne County Auditor's Office told city Finance Director Pat Perry.

The City Council is to adopt the mandate Feb. 18, and it will take effect then. Overtime parking fines are to rise from $10 to $11.50, for example, and the fine for parking too close to a fire hydrant will be $51.50 instead of $50.

Perry said absorbing the $1.50 surcharge per parking ticket is not an option for the city.

Perry said she doesn't know whether the city will be required to make up the $1.50 on tickets issued since Jan. 1.

Committee members tomorrow also will consider raising parking fines on top of the extra $1.50 the state is demanding.

The city has not increased the fees for parking violations since 1996.

After the Finance Committee discusses the surcharge, it will prepare a recommendation to the City Council for its next regular meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Committee member Liz Bass, a City Council member, said yesterday she had not heard about the new fee, but wasn't surprised the state is asking for more money.

"My initial reaction is: What else is new?" Bass said.

In 1991, residents and City Council members spoke out against the $5 increase forced on the city by the state.

Council members then as now argued the state was making the city help solve its budget problems with the higher fee.

The council raised some parking ticket fines again in 1996 excluding overtime violations to help cover parking enforcement costs.

11705300
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday October 1, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Fire threatens Hetch Hetchy infrastructure

09/26/2016

A fire burning in grass and oak woodland near the Moccasin Powerhouse ... more

Marshes Fire grows to 1,000 acres

09/27/2016

Firefighters with dirty faces and bulldozer drivers clad in fire-retardant gear toiled ... more

Hazard tree removal delayed

09/27/2016

Removal of trees destroyed last year by the Butte Fire may not ... more

Tough parking enforcement irks some Sonora merchants

09/29/2016

Downtown Sonora business owners say the city’s parking-enforcement program is too unforgiving ... more