By Megan Davies
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's police parking ticket slowdown has not cost the city nearly as much as some estimated, perhaps as much as 90 percent less, according to new calculations by the office of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
The city realizes an average of $69.13 per parking violation written by police, Stringer's staff estimated in response to a request from Reuters. With 43,883 fewer tickets written in the three weeks ended Jan. 11 than a year earlier, that amounts to lost revenue of about $3 million, according to Reuters calculations based on the comptroller's methodology.
That's a fraction of the amount widely quoted in the New York press. The New York Post, for instance, citing figures from ticket-fighting service Parkingticket.com, reported the city has lost $46 million since a police ticketing slowdown began after the slaying of two officers on Dec. 20.
The slump in parking - and in arrest volume - has been seen by supporters of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as evidence of a work slowdown by police officers angered by recent comments he made that they viewed as anti-police. Police unions say they have not sanctioned a slowdown. The slowdown showed signs of easing in the latest week.
Ticketing activity dropped by more than 90 percent from the year before in the first two weeks of the slowdown and by more than 70 percent in the latest week, according to data compiled by the New York Police Department and the New York Post.
The comptroller's office declined comment on the discrepancy and it was not immediately possible to get comment from Parkingticket.com.
(Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Dan Burns, Bernard Orr)