Don't bet on your car being ticketless even one minute over the meter time in Los Angeles, if the mayor's proposed budget passes Friday.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed hiring 50 part-time traffic officers to join the city's already 100 officers who fan the streets looking for expired parking meters and other violations, NBC reports.
Officials say the increased traffic tickets will bring in $4 million more a year to the city. The mayor hopes to use that revenue to help close the city's $238 million budget deficit. Villaraigosa's budget also includes his recent proposal to raise most parking tickets by $10.
But opponents say that parking tickets are already very expensive and frequent. Some argue that parking tickets disproportionately affect working-class families who live in neighborhoods with many apartment buildings and few parking spaces or who can't afford expensive parking structures.
In fact, one opponent -- The Coalition for Economic Survival, an advocacy group for LA renters -- has begun a campaign encouraging its members to call and write the city council members in protest, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The City Council will vote on the mayor's budget on Friday. Councilwoman Jan Perry said she is prepared to approve the plan, while other council members declined to comment to the Times.
City Controller Wendy Greuel, who is also running for mayor, said she thinks the city should target those who have five or more unpaid tickets rather than balancing the budget "on the backs of all Angelenos."