Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg parking fines will go up to $25

A St. Petersburg parking enforcement officer marks the tire of a parked car. Tickets for violations will increase by $7.50 Wednesday.

Times (1998)

A St. Petersburg parking enforcement officer marks the tire of a parked car. Tickets for violations will increase by $7.50 Wednesday.

ST. PETERSBURG — Parking fines, among the lowest in the Tampa Bay area, will jump to $25 starting Wednesday — just in time for the Tampa Bay Rays playoff games.

The $7.50 increase, the first in more than 10 years, makes St. Petersburg's parking fines equal to Tampa's, but more expensive than Clearwater's $20.

Desperate for new sources of income, the City Council raised the fine as part of the 2009 budget. The higher fines are expected to generate an extra $250,000 each year and help cover expenses such as crossing guards, vehicle maintenance and rising fuel costs.

City officials argue that the current $17.50 fine doesn't discourage illegal parking, especially because the fee is often cheaper than some special-event parking, which can cost more than $20.

The city's $15 late fee on tickets paid after 15 days will not change. That means the total price of a late parking fine will be $40.

Downtown visitors and workers can expect to pay more than their fair share of parking tickets if they forget to feed their parking meters. There are 950 parking meters downtown, 150 of which were added this year to encourage parking turnover.

Downtown business owners said they welcome the parking changes because it helps bring in new customers every few hours.

"Just follow the rules, and you won't have to pay the extra fine," said Susan Robertson, a member of the Downtown Business Association and a spokeswoman for the Pier.

Kendra Rodriguez, co-owner of the Hooker Tea Co. on Beach Drive, goes out of her way to warn customers about the parking fine.

"If you get a ticket, that's a lot to pay for a cup of tea," she said. "We try to remind our customers, 'Hey, you haven't paid the meter in awhile.' "

But frequent parking offenders are less than thrilled by the more expensive fine.

"Everyone is looking for ways to make more money these days, but this is kind of ridiculous," said Nora Gaunt, 22, a server at Central Cafe & Organics. "That's a lot of money."

Gaunt rarely remembers to pay her tickets on time. With an overdue parking ticket now costing $40, she is going to have to remember, she said.

"That's what you make in a day," she said.

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or

St. Petersburg parking fines will go up to $25 09/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 1:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Today is not a dream;' St. Petersburg ready to start building new pier

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG —Three years ago, with the now demolished inverted pyramid still standing stubbornly in the background, Mayor Rick Kriseman laid out a plan to replace or renovate the iconic structure.

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman addresses the crowd Wednesday morning at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new pier. Construction will start next week. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  2. Hillsborough and Pinellas officials can't even agree that they agreed to meet

    Local Government

    Tampa Bay political leaders often tout taking a regional approach to solve the region's most pressing issues. But the challenge has been getting Hillsborough and Pinellas County leaders together on the same page.

    Or in this case, in the same room.

    This month Hillsborough County administrator Mike Merrill (above) nixed a joint meeting of the Hillsborough and Pinellas County Commissions. But Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long said her Hillsborough counterpart, Stacy White, had already agreed to two meetings. [DANIEL WALLACE   |   Times]
  3. Ex-sheriff's official says sheriff intentionally hid federal inmate revenue from county

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The former third-in-command at the Hernando County Sheriff's Office has filed a complaint, alleging that Sheriff Al Nienhuis intentionally hid from the County Commission $1.3 million in revenue he collected from housing federal inmates last year.

    OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times  Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said he was "extremely disappointed'' to hear of James Terry's allegations about the sheriff's handling of federal inmate dollars and noted that Terry was "offered the opportunity to resign from his position at the Sheriff's Office when numerous complaints as to his unprofessional conduct began flowing into the front office.''
  4. Fewer minions make things better in 'Despicable Me 3'


    Despicable Me 3 doubles down on Steve Carell's silly way with words, a smart idea after too much Minions gibberish spoiled part 2. They're still here, in smaller doses and somewhat funnier for it.

     voiced by Trey Parker, in a scene from "Despicable Me 3."  (Illumination and Universal Pictures via AP)
  5. After Rick Scott veto, Tarpon Springs renews push for money to dredge Anclote River

    Local Government

    In a pocket formed at the end of a branch of the Anclote River, Kevin Meisman has seen the size of the boats coming by his family's business get smaller.

    Kevin Meisman, 37, looks out from the dock of his family’s business, Quality T-Tops & Boat Accessories, in Tarpon Springs. Meisman says that, without dredging along the Anclote River, the number of boats he can service is limited.