From the Super Bowl to a Bruce Springsteen concert, there are a number of tickets we would all like to have. A parking ticket, however, does not fall into that category.
"I think it's annoying," Francis Gergen said, after parking his car in Downtown Sioux Falls. "Another little fine that you've got to pay."
Fighting a parking ticket may come with an added expense. Sioux Falls City officials have proposed a $25 processing fee for appealing a parking ticket. Last year, the City of Sioux Falls gave out about 20,000 parking violations. About 250 of those were appealed. Ticket costs range from $5 to a cap of $35. Community Development Director Darrin Smith said a $25 processing fee is not necessarily meant to discourage drivers from fighting their fine.
"Obviously we have to pay hearing officers to hear these cases, and they're independent from the City, so that they are fair. We have to pay them, and that incurs a cost. I should say last year, about 20-percent of those who filed an appeal never showed up for the hearing," Smith said.
This potential change is part of an update to the City's appeals process. Right now, if you fight any other code violation, you have to pay a $50 processing fee. At this moment, there is no added cost for appealing a parking ticket. If the proposal goes through, Smith said you would not pay the fee if you win your appeal.
"There's a balance here. There are rules in place for a reason to ensure there's parking for everybody available downtown," Smith said.
The proposal has been met with resistance from City Council members. Smith said an actual fee may be lower than $25, or there may not even be a fine at all. It all depends on what the Council decides in November when they look at this again.
As for Gergen, he said he has never tried to appeal a parking ticket.
"The effort is like, not going to pay the fine? Or appeal it? Where do you start? Usually people have things to do," Gergen said.