Pullman PD to suggest parking fine increase

Inexpensive tickets lead to low compliance rates, police say

FORREST HOLT, Evergreen news editor

Pullman Police will propose raising parking fines for the first time since 2000 at the City Council meeting tonight.

Pullman’s parking fines are well below average rates in other similarly sized cities, according to an October 2017 survey looking at parking infraction fines in 13 Washington and two Idaho cities. Pullman PD will recommend raising the costs of these fines to be closer to prices in other cities. The department also expects steeper fines to lead to a decrease in illegal parking.

PPD will recommend implementing a progressive fine structure, meaning fines will increase each time an individual gets a ticket. For example, Pullman’s current fine for parking too close to a fire hydrant is $25 each time. Under PPD’s recommendations, the fine would be $50 the first time, $150 the second and $250 for the third.

The City Council may also consider discounting fines if they are paid early, or imposing late fees for infractions paid past their due date, according to a memo PPD sent to the council.

Parking enforcement is not a self-sustaining entity. Total revenue from all parking violations is about $67,000 annually, but one code enforcement officer assigned to enforce parking downtown earns an annual salary with benefits ranging from $85,000 to $97,000, according to the memo.

PPD will also recommend raising rates for annual parking permits and restricted residential parking areas.