ATLANTA (CBS46) -- What could the city of Atlanta do with $34 million more in its budget? That’s how much is owed to the city in unpaid parking tickets, according to city records. That number has doubled over the last six years.
With more than 123,858 outstanding parking tickets, and 4 individuals with more than 100 unpaid tickets each, the CBS46 Bulldog team wondered why the city was failing to collect on such a large sum of money.
After weeks of requesting interviews with the Department of Public Works, both the department and the mayor’s office decline on-camera interviews.
The city’s law department did provide a letter written to its parking vendor, SP Plus, accusing the vendor of denying the city’s multiple requests for access to its own data for this story. SP Plus, which is the parent company of the city’s parking program ATL Plus, also declined interview requests.
When asked about the confusion regarding the city’s process of collecting debts from parking violations, they eventually sent the following statement:
“The debt of outstanding citations is owed to the City of Atlanta, and therefore extends beyond the life of the service contract. As a part of each parking service contract, the debt owed to the City is included as a part of the potential revenue associated with Atlanta's on-street system. Outstanding citations issued by the previous vendor and the City of Atlanta are included in the outstanding citation amount, of which ATL Plus is authorized to collect on the City's behalf.
ATL Plus conducts an ongoing effort to collect outstanding debt owed to the City. All outstanding parking citations are maintained in a central database for continued review. ATL Plus operates a vehicle immobilization program (booting) that checks the history of a license plate for any outstanding citations. Any vehicle that has three or more outstanding citations—or over $100.00 in outstanding fines—is eligible for vehicle immobilization. Upon immobilization, all outstanding citations must be paid prior to the removal of the vehicle immobilization device. In addition to the vehicle immobilization program, ATL Plus issues collection letters to the registered address associated with the vehicle with outstanding citations.”