I just read an article how arnona will go up by 2015 and then saw this article. Is there no relief in sight? It just seems the little person who works 2 jobs or long hours to manage financially every month, this system will work against us especially if they will be using a remote control device .
Tel Aviv leads collection, and Jerusalem will boost revenue with automated enforcement.
It isn’t easy to obtain figures for revenue from parking fines in Israel, because they are buried deep in the budget reports of the municipalities and local authorities. But the search is worth it: the figures show that this is a huge industry that generates an aggregate of more than NIS 400 million annually. This money represents a vital part of the municipalities’ income, reaching as much as 5% of their total budgets in some cases.
The record holder is the Tel Aviv municipality, which garnered NIS 142 million just from parking fines last year, several million above the forecast, and close to 3% of its total revenue. For the sake of comparison, in the same year, the Tel Aviv municipality’s revenue from fees for legal parking, in parking lots, via mobile telephone and by other means, was half of this, just NIS 72 million.
The Jerusalem municipality collected only NIS 50 million from parking fines, but small authorities in Gush Dan managed to generate revenue of between NIS 5 million and NIS 17 million each. Even a small town like Hadera collected NIS 8.5 million in parking fines last year.
To produce this revenue, the municipalities employ a small army of inspectors, tow trucks, collection agencies and so on, that carry out their work efficiently and stubbornly, and in some cases have quotas and are compensated according to results.
Unfortunately, the municipalities, backed by the state, are not making do with this. Behind the scenes, a technological revolution is taking place that will turn the parking fines industry into an efficient and unwearying high-tech monster, dramatically upgrading its ability to milk us.
One of the leaders in automation is the Jerusalem municipality, which it seems is jealous of Tel Aviv’s fat revenues from parking fines. Last week saw the conclusion of a tender in which the Jerusalem municipality called for information and preliminary proposals for deploying a parking enforcement system based on video, picture identification, and remote control that will operate in all weather conditions, day and night, seven days a week.
The municipality sets out no fewer than 39 parking offences, with fines ranging from NIS 100 to NIS 500, that it seeks to enforce automatically. Technological enforcement will be much more aggressive than current methods, without the discretion exercised by a human inspector. For example, the system will issue a fine even in the case of a vehicle parked legally, if the parking meter tag is wrongly displayed.
Some among us will say, “What’s the problem? Park legally, or take public transport.” If the solution were so simple, we wouldn’t see the item in municipalities’ budgets “forecast of revenue from parking fines”, which turns out to be highly accurate. There are formulae for calculating the average traffic density in a city and the number of available parking places, and hence the fines that will be collected. Besides which, the municipalities effectively control the number of available parking places, and, on the face of it, the revenue from fines reduces their motivation for investing in their provision.
In short, this is a classic case of the cat guarding the cream. Only in our case the cat is about to become equipped with technologies that produce an inexhaustible cream source.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on June 24, 2014
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