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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A City Council committee today signed off on creating a grace period on the penalties handed out by the Philadelphia Parking Authority for late payment of tickets.

But the penalties themselves will go up slightly.

Rebecca Alpert, a resident of East Mt. Airy, testified that she had twice received letters from the Parking Authority about tickets that she had never found on her windshield, and those letters included not only fines but late payment penalties.

“And of course I was obligated to pay both the ticket and the penalty, and it made me very angry,” she told the Law and Government committee.

The committee approved a measure sponsored by Councilman Bill Greenlee that gives ticket recipients ten extra days to pay the fine without penalty (see related story).

Parking Authority chief Vince Fenerty says the first warning letter will now mention the grace period.

“You have ten additional days to pay the original fine, or penalties will start accumulating,” Fenerty explained.

Unfortunately for those whose cars are tagged, the late penalties will go up five dollars — from $20 to $25 — to make the grace period revenue-neutral.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn

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