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Cities get creative to balance budgets

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Bob Moon: Cities and states are basically tapped out these days, and most have cut their budgets as far as they can. Now, they’re looking for some other creative ways to bring in money. Caitlan Carroll reports.


Caitlan Carroll: If you live in Detroit and haven’t paid your traffic tickets, you may want to get on that. Starting today, the city won’t renew licenses for drivers with outstanding tickets. Detroit’s got $30 million in fines it wants to collect. Other cities are upping fees for bus service, trash collection and meals for low-income senior.

Fred Murphy teaches management at Temple University. He says with tax revenues shrinking, cities have to raise money other ways.

Fred Murphy: Yeah we all have to learn how to live within our budgets, and some things that are nice to have but aren’t necessities have to go.

In Detroit, everything’s pretty much already gone. And some residents say going after traffic fines just seems petty.

But Detroit native Renee McCoy is philosophical about propping up the budget:

Renee McCoy: But parking tickets, man, if we, if that helps, I’ve got my little $615 — and I wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t threatened me either.

Now, the city has just a couple hundred million dollars to go.

I’m Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.

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