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L.A. plans to increase already hefty fees to help balance budget. What do you think?

May 26, 2010 |  7:07 am

TalkBackLALos Angeles is turning to a variety of fee and fine hikes to help balance its budget.

Residents are expected to feel the pinch when they park, require ambulance service, use the DASH bus and get a dog or cat license.

A Los Angeles City Council panel backed a proposed ordinance Monday that would raise ambulance fees by 37% starting July 1. The proposal would increase the transportation fee for basic life-support ambulances from $712 to $974. Those ambulances typically respond to less critical emergencies, city officials said.

Fees for advanced life-support ambulances, which allow paramedics to provide treatment for major emergencies, would increase from $1,004 to $1,373. The city also charges $15.75 per mile for ambulance transportation.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the council have come up a series of other fee increases for the coming budget year as part of their effort to close a $485-million gap. Dog and cat licenses are slated to increase from $15 to $20. Parking fines are scheduled to go up by $5 for an array of violations, which can cost anywhere from $45 to $80.

Late fees for unpaid parking tickets are expected to go up by $15.

Also this week, the city considered doubling DASH bus fares from 25 cents to 50 cents per trip.

What do you think of the proposed fee hikes? Share your views below.

-- David Zahniser