The Orange Envelopes Are Gonna Cost You (More)

The state may be doing everything short of checking Gov. Deval Patrick’s couch cushions for a few billion in change to close its budget gap, but the city of Boston is feeling pretty confident during these tight economic times. Mayor Tom Menino’s $2.42 billion city budget will increase spending by $5.1 million and will start several new initiatives. How can he afford it?

1207747036By jacking up parking fines.

Having paid our share of fines enclosed in those dreaded orange envelopes, we’ve long thought the fees were already pretty expensive. But Menino tells the Globe this is not the case.

Menino said the fine increases, such as doubling the penalty for parking in a handicapped ramp from $50 to $100, are overdue.

“This budget shows stability at a time of real uncertainty,” Menino said in a telephone interview yesterday. “We have got to raise some new revenues to maintain that stability. Some of these fines haven’t been raised in over a decade.”

Not only will you pay more for parking too far from the curb or in a fire lane, but some streets that currently have 2-hour parking will get meters. The fine hikes aren’t a done deal yet—the City Council has to pass the Mayor’s budget, and possible mayoral hopeful Michael Flaherty has expressed his skepticism. But if we were you, we’d start scouting for some cheap parking garages to avoid an expensive ticket.