New proposal for income-based parking ticket fines in Boston

Councilor Julia Mejia introduced the legislation to help low-income families.

February 26, 2020, 12:18 PM

A new proposal on the docket in Boston on Wednesday could determine how much residents pay for parking tickets.

The Boston City Council was to meet at noon Wednesday to discuss new legislation which will include a hearing order for potential income-adjusted fines on parking violations.

Recently elected city councilor at-large Julia Mejia filed the hearing order on Monday and has been vocal about the idea on Twitter.

"I am introducing legislation on income-adjusting parking tickets so low-income families don’t have to decide between paying a parking ticket or putting food on their table," she wrote.

PHOTO: Cars are parked in Boston.
Cars are parked in Boston.
David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The hearing order cited that in 2018, the city of Boston issued "over 1.38 million parking tickets, collecting over $61.3 million."

It also stated that in the same year, changes were made to the pricing structure for a number of parking violations such as the fine for "overstaying the meter" which increased from $25 to $40.

Mejia's hearing order noted a study from the Greater Boston Food Bank, which found that "food insecure individuals in Eastern Massachusetts now face an average weekly budget shortfall of $21.21 per person."

The legislation also stated that "30% of Bostonians in the lowest income bracket are in 'car dependent neighborhoods'" in an attempt to highlight the intersection of transportation and economic empowerment.

Currently, parking tickets in Boston range from $15 to $120 and can increase due to fines if a violation is paid late, according to ABC News Boston affiliate WCVB.