Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Income inequity gets SF rethinking fines, fees

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
About six years ago, Aviana Danekas was riding a Muni bus when a fare inspector asked her for proof of payment. She had a transfer, but didn’t realize it had just expired.

The inspector told her she had two options: buy another Muni ticket or get a citation. Then a City College student studying fashion and with little money to spare, Danekas refused to buy another ticket.

“I wasn’t as mature as I am now,” said Danekas, now 28. “I was like, ‘That’s ridiculous!’ and we were going back and forth about it.”

The fare inspector gave her a $75 citation, which Danekas didn’t pay, opting to spend what little cash she had on fabric and other school supplies. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it squabble on the Muni bus turned out to be a very pricey mistake.

Danekas, hoping to buy a car, recently checked her credit report and found that she had been dinged for not paying the citation and that late fees had compounded to the point where she now owes $2,500.
Greedy government in the news.