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D.C. made $92 million in 2012 from parking tickets

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A ticket on your car is a hassle for you, but a major money-maker for the district.

In 2012 alone, 1.9 million parking tickets were issued in D.C., according to AAA data. Though the figure is down by about 125,000 tickets from 2011, more people who received tickets actually paid them in 2012, bringing the revenue up to $92 million this past year.

“The District makes $100 million from speed and red-light cameras and $90 million from parking tickets," AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend said. "When you count in parking permits, registrations, licensing fees and the rest, I’ll bet the city makes close to a billion dollars a year off cars,” Townsend told The Washington Post.

According to those AAA numbers, the city gave out about 6 percent fewer tickets in fiscal year 2012 than it did in fiscal year 2011. But many drivers say that's still way too many tickets.

At $2 an hour, Clifton Montague thinks parking in the District is a rip off.

“It’s highway robbery,” he says.

Dallas Harris is one of thousands of drivers in D.C. who's received one of those hated pink papers on their windshield. She says she agrees with AAA’s claim that the city is exploiting drivers.

In fact, Dallas just got a ticket a few days ago for accidentally parking a no-park zone.

“I just parked, thought I was okay," Harris said. "(I) ran into class, came out (and found a) $100 ticket," Harris says.

"It is undoubtedly a tax...They count on the revenue for it...," added driver Larry Kubin.

ABC7 met Kubin around 14th Street and G Street NW, where he was trying to feed a parking meter.

"Many of these parking meters are not working...," he explained.

Including the one located closest to his car, which rejected three credit card. He tried another machine a block away and returned to his car. It's a routine he's done many times with mixed results.

"...and then I come back, and I've got a ticket," Kubin said.

So what would make parking easier?

"Most cities this size build municipal parking garages... D.C. doesn't have any because it's in its best interest not to have any...," explained Townsend.

The District Department of Transportation says officers make every effort to write fair tickets, and say many drivers are simply illegally parked. They encourage drivers who feel like they may have been given a ticket in error to go to the DMV and challenge it.

According to AAA, in 2012, the DMV dismissed 50 percent of parking ticket cases they heard.

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