To help combat the effects of the economic downturn, Salt Lake City, Utah created a Collections Unit for its Finance Department to reclaim outstanding parking debt last year, according to City Weekly. In March, city officials began the debt collection
process by placing electronic boots on the cars of residents who have two or more outstanding parking tickets. Using advanced technology, parking officials can scan cars' licence plates to determine if their owners qualify for the punishment. In total, the city estimates it needs to recoup $1.3 million in parking debt. Also, loose adherence to ticket reduction policies by hearings officers have let offenders off the hook. It is estimated that as of March, the city had already granted $715,282 in deductions, already closing in on the $1,008,101 that was reduced in all of 2010. The reclaimed money will be put towards financing services such as police and firefighters, or local road maintenance. In response to learning that the city of Los Angeles, California, was owed approximately $213 million in unpaid parking tickets last year alone, officials intended a position specifically designed to focus on debt collection, the Los Angeles Times reports.