SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A new audit has found that Sioux Falls forgave about $1.6 million in fines and fees from 2016 through 2017.
The Sioux Falls Internal Audit Department’s report shows City Hall forgave about $860,000 in fees and fines in 2016 and more than $775,000 in 2017, the Argus Leader reported.
The city typically collects about $100 million each year in fees and fines, including parking tickets, building permits and other revenue generators.
“We determined that approximately 1 percent of the total amount of revenue generated from fees and fines is foregone annually due to the authorized waivers and reduced rates,” the report said.
The audit doesn’t specify which departments are waiving fees or fines most frequently.
Internal Auditor Ashley VanDeBerg said city ordinances and executive orders allow department heads to forgo fees or fines in certain cases. The Planning Department can waive permit fees for nonprofits, city buildings and Community Development Neighborhood Revitalization projects, for instance. The parking division can also forgive tickets for registered vehicles outside of the county metro area.
“The whole reason we were doing this audit was to see if there were a lot of fees and fines being waived or is it’s guided by ordinance,” said VanDeBerg. “We did find that they’re only being approved if it’s in ordinance or sometimes management will (forgive) a late fee for, say, an account that’s always been paid on time.”
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com