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Milwaukee aldermen considering boots for cars to combat unpaid parking tickets

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee aldermen want a new way to make sure people pay their parking tickets.

Right now, state law doesn't allow this but Milwaukee leaders want to put boots on cars with excessive unpaid tickets and tow them to a lot.

If you want your car back, you would have to pay all the tickets.

State Senator Tim Carpenter says Milwaukee currently has 30 million dollars in unpaid tickets. 

"Right now, people are laughing at the City of Milwaukee saying, 'I don't have to pay my tickets'," said State Sen. Carpenter.

Therefore, he wants to force them to pay their tickets or lose their car. He says collecting already owed money is better than raising local taxes.

"Going after people who have dozens, thousands of dollars of unpaid parking tickets. People that have just sort of ignored while other people have done the right thing. If I get a parking ticket, I pay for it right away," State Sen. Carpenter said.

It would apply to people who have 5 or more unpaid moving violations for at least 60 days. Residents are split on the issue.

"If you are irresponsible and don't pay your parking tickets on time, then you should pay the consequences and pay the fee in order to get your car back," said Julie Wagner of Milwaukee.

"I just think 5 is the wrong threshold. Out of thin air, I would say 10 might be a better threshold to do something as Draconian as putting a boot on," said Fred Brodsky of Milwaukee.

State Senator Lena Taylor says the proposal has gotten too much traction in the statehouse without Milwaukee residents knowing about it.

"I would argue that the citizens of Milwaukee do not know that the city is asking for the boot system and I think there needs to be a larger conversation about is this something that the city wants," said State Senator Lena Taylor.

State Lawmakers say the city has been asking for authority to boot cars for several years.

Carpenter says if it doesn't pass this year, he's going to try again next year.

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