Youngstown looking to take unpaid parking fees over $100 from tax returns

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Youngstown's clerk of courts says she's going after state income tax to try to get some offenders to pay their bills

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Last May, Youngstown Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown-Clark released what she called her top 60: the people who owed the most money for parking tickets. Now, almost a year later, she said 23 of those 60 people have paid and she’s found a way for the others to pay, too.

Brown-Clark said revenue from parking tickets went from $102,000 in 2018 to $188,000 in 2019 — an increase of 54%.

“We have put blocks on licenses and license tag renewals and we can do that,” she said.

In other words, for people with outstanding parking tickets of $100 or more, their driver’s licenses or license plates were being withheld until the tickets were paid.

“They weep and moan and then they come and pay that money,” she said. “This money goes into the general fund.”

Last May, Brown-Clark spoke to Youngstown City Council, releasing the names of 60 people who together owed $110,000 in parking tickets. She said 23 of those people paid $40,000.

As far as the remaining 37 — and anyone else who falls too far behind — she has a plan for them.

“I am going after state income tax. I am in a conversation with the representatives of the attorney general’s office here. Many other areas have gone and they get their delinquent fines before the people get their income tax,” she said.

She is looking to find a way to have parking fees attached to state tax returns.

When Brown-Clark announced her top 60, she said people called the mayor, the law department, whoever.

“They never said, ‘I don’t owe the money.’ They just did not want to pay it,” she said.

She said as Youngstown’s clerk of courts, it is her job to collect parking tickets.

“You know you owe the money. You had ample opportunity to make payment arrangements over the years and you failed to do so. So now, I want all the money,” she said.

Brown-Clark reminds people to be careful who they loan their vehicles to, even parents with their children. It’s the owner of the vehicle who’s responsible for parking tickets, even though it may not have been the owner who caused it.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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