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Politics and Government

Syracuse raises parking fees, but also offers amnesty window to pay back tickets

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Tom Magnarelli
/
WRVO Public Media
Downtown Syracuse.

The City of Syracuse is raising the fees for parking violations, but it’s also offering an amnesty window next month for people to pay parking tickets back without any additional late fees. It’s a way for the city to generate some money after losing tens of millions of dollars in sales tax revenue, due to the coronavirus.

Some of the violations, including handicap parking, odd/even parking, and overtime are going up $5, $10 and $35. The increases are supposed to bring the prices more in line with other upstate cities.

From September 8-25, the city will forgo all late fees on any unpaid parking tickets. Booting will also be suspended during that time.

The Syracuse Common Council approved the items on Monday. Councilor-at-Large Tim Rudd said the city is facing a fiscal crisis. Raising the ticket fees, he said, will discourage negative behavior, while the amnesty window will give people a break.

“They both should increase the revenue the city needs,” Rudd said. “Nobody else is going to help us provide critical services at the moment. We have to do what we have to do.”

The city has more than $19 million in outstanding ticket fees. If it gets a 20% response rate from the amnesty window, it could generate $1 million. When the window ends, unpaid tickets will be referred to a third party collection agency.