Louisville looking to collect nearly $9M in unpaid parking tickets

Prices at parking meters, PARC garages to increase
The Parking Authority of River City or PARC has $8.9 million in unpaid parking tickets built up over the last five years. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The Parking Authority of River City or PARC has $8.9 million in unpaid parking tickets built up over the last five years. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The Parking Authority of River City or PARC has $8.9 million in unpaid parking tickets built up over the last five years.

Tiffany Smith is PARC's director and said the lack of payment is frustrating.

"You're hoping that in a compassionate city, that people are doing the right thing," Smith said.

Approximately $8 million of the nearly $9 million total comes from cars with Kentucky or Indiana license plates.

The money doesn't benefit PARC, it would go toward the city's general fund for other municipal projects.

"That is a significant amount of money that we'd like to see funneled back into the system and benefit the citizens of Louisville," Smith said.

Smith said their collection agency is trying.

"They don't collect. They don't get paid," Smith said. "We don't have a lot of other methodology."

One option is pursuing prosecution.

"That's kind of sad that we would have to go that route where we're taking tax payers money to go after violators," Smith said.

Right now, to get a boot on a car requires three tickets and the two letters requesting payment on each ticket. Smith said they have considered lowering that number in past and may look at it again.

The loss of city money isn't just frustrating for Smith.

WATCH: William Joy's report

"It's definitely a major issue that needs to be corrected as swiftly as possible so the people in the city don't suffer," Terry Henderson, who lives in Louisville, said.

"They need to track them down and get that money," Bobby Cunningham, a Louisville native, said.

On top on the unpaid number, Smith said they are short on parking enforcement officers so they should be giving out even more tickets.

She said that's not the goal, though, so PARC is pushing more people to use Passport, a mobile app that allows people to pay for parking through their phone by just entering the space number listed on the meter. It even gives notification for when time is almost up and allows the user to add more time through the phone.

The city is raising the hourly rate on the meters from $1.50 to $1.75, the cost of removing a boot from $50 to $75 and monthly parking rates by $5 starting Friday. Smith said the increase to help maintain the garages and is not related to the unpaid tickets.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.