L.A. losing millions from unpaid parking fines, city bills

An audit has found that cash-strapped Los Angeles is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year from unpaid bills and fines, including more than $100 million from parking tickets, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The audit, which scrutinized six departments during fiscal 2008-2009, shows the city collected $130 million from parking fines — a major source of revenue — but that was just 53% of what was owed. Overall, the city controller’s audit found the city lost $260 million out of the total $553 million in city billings and fines.

The parking chief replied that 80% of the 3 million tickets issued were paid and that the remainder represented a “cumulative” amount that includes “very difficult to collect citations” that might never be paid.

As the audit was unveiled yesterday, the start of the new fiscal year, more than 200 city workers received pink slips and deep cuts in services took hold. One city council member noted that the uncollected bills would have helped fill the budget hole.

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