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Brookhaven Town adopts parking ticket amnesty program to help recoup $2.7M owed in fines
The Brookhaven Town board Tuesday unanimously adopted a parking ticket amnesty program to help the cash-strapped municipality recoup some of the $2.7 million it is owed in outstanding fines.
“We’re casting a wide net, and any way we can increase our revenue for money that is owed to us, we need to do it,” Councilwoman Jane Bonner said yesterday. “We can’t keep going to the taxpayers. I’m not voting to increase taxes.”
Between April 15 and June 1, violators can resolve tickets at a 40 percent discount, which the town projects will bring in $300,000.
The town will pursue aggressively those who don’t come forward during the grace period, Brookhaven officials said.
Supervisor Edward P. Romaine has said he will have a more comprehensive plan on collecting the remaining violation fees next month. The fines will help alleviate some of the town’s financial stress. Fire and handicapped zone fines are $250 each; all others are $75.
Brookhaven spending is expected to outweigh revenue by $28 million in the next three years, further depleting low reserves and putting the town bond and credit rating at risk, town officials warn.
The municipality, which passed a $247 million budget, is expected to spend roughly $7 million more than it takes in this year, $5.6 million next year and $15.6 million in 2015 — when debt service increases, according to financial projections.