The Athens-Clarke Commission voted Tuesday to triple the fines for parking too long in downtown Athens.The commission also voted to "sell advertisements on Athens Transit buses, a move that is expected to bring in about $25,000 to $50,000 a year for additional service."
Starting July 1, the fine for parking at an expired meter will rise from $3 to $10, and the fine for feeding quarters into the meter after it has expired will rise from $5 to $15.
Meters will be enforced from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., rather than the current 6 p.m.
The state legislature is moving forward on a TSPLOST bill:
The House plan favors a statewide sales tax that would raise $25 billion for transportation projects during the next decade. The Senate plan would allow counties to band together to impose a regional tax.
Georgia's business lobbyists have aggressively pushed for the increases, saying Atlanta's traffic woes are hurting their ability to recruit and keep companies. The city's commute routinely ranks among the nation's worst, and state officials say Georgia ranks near the bottom when it comes to per capita spending on transportation.
Under both plans, Georgia voters would have to approve the tax hike in 2010 as a constitutional amendment. The Senate measure requires local officials to craft a list of potential projects that local residents would consider, while the House proposal includes a lengthy list of specific projects across the state.