- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Procrastination might pay off for some drivers in Rapid City, and at least one City Council member isn’t happy about it.

The city is considering forgiving more than $100,000 in unpaid parking tickets issued in 2011 and 2012.

The Rapid City Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1YVg3w7 ) that the city Finance Department every few years removes delinquent parking ticket fines the city is unlikely to collect, to tidy the books. Nearly 10,000 tickets totaling just under $107,000 might be written off by the City Council next week.

Mayor Steve Allender says losing revenue from written-off tickets is part of the cost of doing business.

“This is a small percentage of the total tickets written,” he said in a phone interview Monday. “I don’t think this is a signal to anyone to not pay the ticket.”

But Alderwoman Amanda Scott is questioning the move. She says fine forgiveness is supposed to be for out-of-state tourists who probably would never pay them, not for local residents. But Rapid City Finance Officer Pauline Sumption said her office does not differentiate between residents and tourists when waiving the fines.

“The whole system will need to be reviewed,” Scott said.

Last year the city collected about $170,000 in parking fines. Revenues from fines contribute toward the salaries of parking-enforcement officers, maintenance of parking lots and meters, as well as payments towards the $2 million bond for the downtown parking garage.

The city’s Legal and Finance Committee will meet Wednesday to consider writing off the unpaid tickets.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com


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