Beware the meter maid



Soon there will be nowhere to hide from pricier parking tickets. In response to state surcharges on parking fines, SLO County officials decided to raise parking fines by $10 everywhere in the county.

The cities of SLO and Paso Robles as well as Cuesta College already implemented the same fine increases in response to SB 1407. The bill requires local agencies to hand $4.50 from every fine collected to the state for court facility costs.

Another piece of government code allows counties to impose an additional $5. It’s been on the books since 1984, but local officials didn’t take advantage until recently.

“I think what’s happened is this change in the state has brought it to light that this is an option,” said Jim Erb of the Office of the Auditor-Controller.

What it means is every parking ticket issued in the county will cost $10 more. The total for both new fees is actually $9.50, but the remaining 50 cents will go toward local administrative costs, Erb added.

By law, $2 of the $5 collected can go toward the county’s general fund. Erb said SLO County still has about $5 million of debt for the local court system.

The new fines will be applied to parking tickets in all cities and unincorporated areas of the county in addition to the harbor district, county airport, and Cal Poly.

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