A parking enforcement officer tickets a car along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, Calif. Monday, April 4, 2016. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

A parking enforcement officer tickets a car along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, Calif. Monday, April 4, 2016. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Mayor’s office to claim $5 million in overpaid traffic citations

Nearly $5 million in unclaimed parking citation reimbursements will be placed in San Francisco’s general fund and subject to allocation by Mayor Ed Lee.

That’s because while some 12,000 people filed claims with The City to be refunded more than $1 million in parking citation reimbursements, the rest of the unclaimed funds — between $4 and $5 million — may be transferred from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s coffers to The City.

The SFMTA Board of Directors is scheduled to vote Tuesday to authorize that transfer, which will then later need to be finalized by a vote of the Board of Supervisors.

The mayor’s office “will decide on the uses of these funds,” according to an SFMTA staff report.

Christine Falvey, the mayor’s spokesperson, told the San Francisco Examiner, “Mayor Lee is developing the City’s two year budget now and he’s working with the SFMTA, the community and other city departments to prioritize spending in support of frontline city services including transportation, homelessness, housing, and affordability.”

Though she didn’t say how specifically the citation money would be used, she added, “More later as the budget develops.”

The SFMTA accumulated the money when people erroneously overpaid parking and transit citations between Jan. 1, 1995 and June 30, 2012, including paying a ticket twice or giving too much money back to The City, for instance. The money went unclaimed for three years.

The amounts due to be refunded were around $100 each.

When news of the overpaid tickets was first reported in February, NPR found a number of high-profile names among those owed money: Apple founder Steve Jobs ($174), California Attorney General Kamala Harris ($60), PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel ($170), Gov. Edmund (Jerry) G. Brown Jr. ($33), and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick ($510).

The SFMTA did not confirm whether such public figures were among the 12,000 who claimed their money.

About 9,000 of the 12,000 who claimed their citation dollars have had their claims processed, said Paul Rose, an SFMTA spokesman.

That means $1.2 million of $6.1 million has been allocated from the reimbursements as of March 1, Rose said, but they’re still not done.

“That number could still climb,” he said, depending on how much money is represented by the remaining 3,000 claims.

The entire $6.1 million has been set aside by the SFMTA in reserve and will not have a budgetary impact to the agency.citationsMayor Ed LeeMayor's Officeparking ticketsSFMTAtrafficTransittransportation

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