NORFOLK- The City of Norfolk is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars from drivers who got parking tickets and never paid them, records obtained from the city show.
13News Now filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records of drivers who owe at least $1,000 in parking tickets. The city responded by sending a five page list of parking scofflaws that dates back to the 1990s.
The offenders on the city's list owe a combined total $479,458.95 in back parking tickets.
A typical parking ticket for an expired meter in Norfolk is $25. But a past-due ticket quickly begins to amass extra fines, explained Bart Neu, Director of Parking for the City of Norfolk.
"I've seen $25 tickets that are up to $135," Neu said. "That's just for one ticket.
The top three offenders on the city's list are rental car companies, who are ultimately responsible for paying tickets given to rental drivers.
The Hertz Corporation, which owns Hertz, Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty, owes $20,915 according to the list provided by the City of Norfolk.
The Avis-Budget Group owes $56,013. A spokeswoman for the company said in a statement the company is working with the city to pay the past-due balance.
Enterprise Holdings, which also owns and operates Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental in addition to its namesake agency, owes the city $64,552.
Laura Bryant, a spokeswoman for Enterprise Holdings, said the company has taken proactive steps in past years to pay the city of Norfolk for any outstanding balance.
"Enterprise Holdings has been proactively reaching out to the City of Norfolk since 2011 about this issue," Bryant said. "It appears that no one from the City of Norfolk has responded to this ongoing communication initiative."
Bryant supplied letters dating back to 2011. Lori Crouch, a spokeswoman for the city of Norfolk, said the city never received the letters.
Neu, the direct of parking in Norfolk, said efforts to collect past-due parking tickets has increased in recent years.
Still, state law only allows cities to actively collect a fine for three years.
In that time, cities can place a DMV hold on a driver's vehicle registration or take money from a person's state income tax return or lottery winning.
"We get a lot of calls from people in line at the DMV," Neu said.
Neu said the majority of people--more than 50%--pay their tickets within thirty days, before any fines are levied.
He also said the city has an 80% collection rate for drive who do not pay their tickets within 30 days.