Taxes may not be going up during the rest of 2009, but those reliable tax surrogates, parking fines, are. At least in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, whose Board of Supervisors voted to up the ante on drivers who lose the foot race to their cars' expired meters to parking enforcement staff.
Depending on the violation, tickets will jump anywhere from $5 to $25. But fines will actually be steeper than that because, like concert box offices and sports promoters selling advance tickets, the county will tack on a $5 “surcharge” to each fine. Why? Because last January the state legislature required all municipalities and counties to pay $4.50 of every collected parking fine to the State Court Facilities Construction Fund, and so, of course, the cities and counties, in turn, are adding that to your bill so they don't lose out. If you must ask about the extra 50 cents, we're paying that too because the DMV only processes even dollar amounts. And you didn't expect the county to round down, did you?
The unanimous Yes vote was encouraged by Sheriff Lee Baca, who noted
the fines haven't changed since 1996. No starting date has been giving
for the fines to go into effect. Oh, and if you take your time paying
them, expect them to really go up, thanks to a $15 “administrative fee.” Got change?