A News 4 investigation has revealed one out of every four parking tickets issued in the city of St. Louis goes unpaid.
Since 2005 the city has issued 2,138,810 tickets, 539,054 remain uncollected. According to the city's assistant treasurer the city is owed more than $10 million in fees and penalties by parking violators. Steve Baker says, "we send multiple notices to the offender, we boot and tow cars." Despite the city's best efforts many parking violators get away without paying. The top ten violators owe more than $85,000 in fines combined.
According to the the treasurer's office, the top offender is a man named Markquis Bryant. Bryant's plate (9AK19F) has racked up 117 open tickets for a total of $11,400 in fines. When asked about Bryant the assistant treasurer said, " this guy is awful lucky he hasn't been caught yet." According to the Missouri Department of Corrections Marquis Bryant has been caught, but not for parking fines. Bryant was convicted of second degree murder, but was paroled last year. News 4 attempted to track down the top ten parking offenders on the city provided list, but we found many of them had moved. Click here to see the list of the city's top violators.
If you don't pay your tickets the city will send you a letter, it might even call you, but someone will not come to your house. Steve Baker says the city will boot your car after you receive four tickets, and the city has the authority to suspend license plates.
If the city collected the $10 million owed in parking fines it would cover part of the $45 million budget shortfall it's facing in 2011. Have you spotted other ways the city might be able to collect money its owed? If so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.