TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A new amnesty program for drivers with outstanding unpaid parking tickets began in Troy on Sunday.
The program will run from May 1 June 15. It offers a one-time 40 percent reduction on open parking violations issued between January 1, 2009 and March 1, 2016.
City officials hope the program will make up for lost revenue. City Council President Carmella Mantello said the program comes after the city discovered Troy drivers owe approximately $1.1 million in outstanding unpaid parking tickets.
For people like Laura Kerrone, getting a parking ticket in Troy is a daily worry. She owns Psychedelicatessen, a downtown bagel spot.
In the last two years, Kerrone said she has gotten eight tickets.
“There are some free spots, a few free spots, but most of the time, I’m doing the two-hour shuffle,” she said.
Kerrone said she’s paid her fines, but she said she can understand the struggle of getting to city hall to pay the tickets during business hours.
“But that’s our primary operating times, so by the time I’d get a minute to go pay my tickets, they were already closed,” she said.
That’s why Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said the amnesty program is so important.
“The amnesty is really an effort to get people caught up before this new system comes into place,” he said.
Madden said if the city can make up some of the lost revenue, it would help with capital improvements and even help taxpayers.
“A million dollars is the equivalent of about a four or five percent tax increase,” he said.
Kerrone said there aren’t enough parking spaces with Troy’s growth.
“The lack of parking hasn’t changed at all,” she said. “So I could definitely see more issues with parking and parking tickets and things like that. People don’t have anywhere to put their cars.”
Kerrone also has a better idea of what to do with the money.
“They could be using the parking ticket money to improve garages, build another garage, designate more places,” she said.
Giving people a break on their unpaid parking tickets is part of a larger parking overhaul in Troy.
Individuals in possession of outstanding parking tickets who qualify for the amnesty program will receive direct mail notification with detailed instructions regarding payment options.
To take advantage of the forty percent discount visit: http://www.parkingticketassist.com/troy/ or City of Troy website.
Tickets can also be paid by mail or in person at the City Treasurer’s office.