Should you pay $25 to appeal a $5 parking ticket? That was the question posed to Sioux Falls' City Council Tuesday evening.
The council did decide to pass a fee to appeal parking tickets but instead of the $25 originally proposed by the city's Public Parking Department, the fee was reduced to $5.
The appealer would first have to pay the fee up front. If they win their case, they would get the fee back. If they lose, that money is gone.
Why is Public Parking pushing for this appeal fee now?
Over the past 12 months, 21% of those who have said they were going to appeal their parking tickets didn't show up for Appeal Court.
This in turn is costing the city of Sioux Falls a lot.
"The challenge that the city has right now is that they have these boards set up and it costs hundreds of dollars to put these people together who actually serve as the judges, so to speak, and if nobody shows up we sill still have to pay hundreds of dollars," said Greg Jamison, City Councilman.
The Parking Department proposed a $25 fee.
We're all most familiar with the $5 parking tickets so this may sound steep.
However the Director of Community Development and Parking Darrin Smith says the average ticket costs around $26.
Over the past year, 250 citations were appealed.
"About 38 percent of those are actually $35 snow alert tickets. About 32 percent are the overtime tickets and about 30 percent are the prohibited tickets," said Smith.
The appeal fee is designed to make people more accountable and more likely to show up in court.
"So if the appealer, the person with the ticket said well I'm going to go appeal this and they had to pay some kind of a $5, $10, $25 fee just to do the appeal, they're likely to appear at the hearing," said Jamison.
This measure also allow us 15 days to appeal parking tickets as opposed to the current seven.