An investigation by WRC-TV found that Washington D.C. is owed a staggering $835,750,067 in unpaid parking tickets. The news station filed a freedom of information request and discovered that there are roughly five million outstanding tickets, some of which date back 20 years.
Eighty-five percent of the fines come from people living in Virginia and Maryland, who owe $207 million and $415 million, respectively. D.C. residents are on the hook for $90 million, while embassies have racked up nearly $750,000 in unpaid fines.
Local officials told the station they are looking into the issue and will try to come up with ways to collect the money. Currently, the city hires an outside collection agency to recover any unpaid fines.
"I would want to evaluate what we’re doing to collect money that’s owed to the District of Columbia, and I’ll work with our team in operations of infrastructure to get me some recommendations," Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
According to a report by AAA, 1.4 million tickets were issued in 2018, and the city collected $61.5 million in fines. While the number of tickets being issued has declined over the past few years, revenue has risen because officials have increased the cost of fines.
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