Parking ticket goof forces NYC to refund millions

Few things are more annoying to drivers than paying for parking and still getting a ticket. Now the New York City Department of Finance admits a clerical error forced it to refund millions of dollars to hundreds of thousands of drivers.

Maybe you've gotten that sinking feeling when you see that awful orange reminder of a parking ticket that will cost you $65 or more. A change in violation code was not updated, so the Department of Finance had to refund $18 million to more than 480,000 drivers and void another 100,000 tickets.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said the mistake is unacceptable and that the Department of Finance has to get its act together.

The total hit to the city budget was about $26 million. In case you think that is small change compared to the overall budget of $85 billion, Stringer said that $26 million would pay for repaving 174 miles of roads, or delivering 3.2 million meals to senior citizens, or pay the salaries of 300-plus police officers.

Stringer said he has audited the Department of Finance 17 times and will continue to make sure the department does the "right thing" with the money of hard-working New Yorkers.