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Monday, February 15, 2010 - 1:11pm

Savannah Extends Parking Amnesty

Savannah is extending a popular parking ticket amnesty program that could net city coffers a quarter-million-dollars.

Residents came to the city's parking office in droves last week, taking advantage of a program that drops late fees on parking tickets as long as the original fines are paid in full.

The program was about to end when Sean Brandon, Savannah's Director of Mobility and Parking Services, announced, the amnesty would continue for another week.

"I think it's one of the ways that we can go after a pot of money that's sitting out there that's not particularly hard to get," Brandon says. "We had thousands of accounts sitting out there from people who over the years just let them accumulate."

Nationally, governments are being forced to innovate to boost revenue in the tough economy.

Amnesties in other cities have included property taxes and code violations.

So far, Savannah has collected on more than 15,000 unpaid parking fines.

Violators generally are savings more than a hundred dollars each.

It's been 15 years since Savannah's last parking amnesty and this one comes amidst an economic slump that's straining the city budget.

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