Data compiled by a nonprofit news organization shows that the city of Los Angeles spent more on parking enforcement than it generated over the last five years.
The report, compiled by Crosstown, a nonprofit news organization based at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, shows the city spent $192 million more in parking and traffic enforcement than it brought in since 2017.
Since the 2017 fiscal year, the city raked in $617 million in parking tickets while spending over $809 million on salaries, equipment, and other enforcement related expenses.
The last two fiscal years, affected by restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, account for the largest shortfall with nearly $121 million more spent on enforcement than generated through citations.
During the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, the city’s Department of Transportation spent $56.4 million more than it took in compared to a shortfall of $64.4 million the previous year.
While the shortfall did begin before the pandemic, the data shows that the suspension of parking regulations during the first 8 months of the pandemic contributed to the financial crunch.
In January 2020, there were more than 200,000 tickets issued but three months later that number stood at about 45,000.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation's Director of Information, Colin Sweeney, told Crosstown that the department's costs rose due to a record number of hours of service for a variety of citywide projects.
"Over the last decade, while revenue from citations has remained within a consistent range, our parking enforcement division has also provided a record number of traffic safety control hours for citywide projects, including street repair and maintenance, the construction and expansion of Metro Transit projects, and homeless encampment clean-ups," he said.