City Councilor At-Large Mejia Proposing Income-Based Parking Tickets

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston City Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia is proposing a plan Wednesday that would make the cost of parking tickets in the city based on income.

In Boston, parking tickets can cost between $15 and $120, excluding late fees. As the newly-elected councilor campaigned last year, she said, she heard from many who complained about the hardships the parking tickets created.

"Some folks were debating whether or not they were gonna pay for food on the table or a parking ticket," Mejia told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe. "There are opportunities for us to look at doing a sliding scale."

Councilor Mejia said she had a tough enough time paying her own parking ticket, and knows others have things worse off than her.

"Realizing that I had to pay 159 dollars, I didn't want to start my new job with debt to the city, that would be embarrassing," Mejia said. "But I knew how difficult it was for me to even just pay that off. I'm a single mom, I have a job, and I still found it difficult. Maybe bringing in your income tax from the previous year could be a way for us to determine how financially in hardship you might be."

In 2018, reports that fines were raised for 11 parking violations. More than a million parking tickets were issued that year, raking in more than $61 million in fines.

Mejia told she was concerned about "whose pockets" that money was coming from.

Opponents of the measure say that the rules for parking tickets should be the same for everyone.

The proposal was introduced at Wednesday's city council meeting, where it was referred to committee. It will be scheduled for a public hearing at some point in the future.

WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports

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(Photo: City Councilor Julia Mejia/Twitter)

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