$3 Million = Columbia’s Pocket Change

For the last few years, the general rule has been that if you owe about $100.00 in parking tickets, you get towed. If you are lucky, you can catch the “meter maid” before he/she calls the tow company…but you better have cash.

Columbia (WLTX) — When people buy lottery tickets, they want to collect millions and so does the city of Columbia. The difference is they’re banking on unpaid parking tickets.

City officials say there are $3 million dollars of unpaid tickets that haven’t been paid.

Mayor Bob Coble says there is a plan. He says reports indicating the city is considering issuing criminal warrants to people who haven’t paid are false. Coble said, “While you would have the right to do that, criminal warrants wouldn’t be justified for parking tickets.”

Instead, he says they’re sending letters asking you to pay up and if you’re a multiple offender, your car could get towed. They’re also considering a program that would withhold money from tax refunds.

Coble said, “As unpleasant as it can be for cities to collect debts, every debt that’s not collected means someone else has to pay it or there are less services.”

Now, the city’s hoping luck is in their favor and the orange and white ticket holders help them collect their overdue prize.If you want to find out if you have an overdue parking ticket in Columbia, call (803) 545-3362.


  1. not sure that you can issue criminal warrants on civil matters. Also, why do we have so many meters to begin with? I was in Augusta GA today and parking was great…not a damn meter. Downtown was bussling and there were still spaces if you were willing to look. It was a 2 hour time limit.

  2. You cannot compare Columbia to Augusta in any way shape or form. You must have parked close to a couple of the strip clubs that populate the downtown of disgusta as we call Augusta. Sorry, no comparison. You may have to many meter maids and Augusta would if they could pay them but since the govt. is so corrupt and dysfunctional, it makes the City of Columbia look like Seattle, WA with respect to a thriving, viable and well run city.

  3. Just a thought Mayor Bob, what you say we take that 3 mil and fix the pot holes that every resident of the city has memorized…

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