SEATTLE – Alex Greene says the state is hitting him hard with huge fines for not paying the toll for crossing the State Route 520 floating bridge. But, Greene says he never got the bills in the mail.
It’s proving to be a major drain on his wallet.
"It's way too much money. Anybody can see that," said Greene.
When 520 tolling started, Greene decided to pay for his bridge crossings by mail. Tuesday, Greene found out he did not pay the January and February bills.
"We didn't receive them. My wife is absolutely on top of the mail," said Greene.
Now the state is seeking the past due tolls plus penalty fees.
"Eight trips to the east side and back, and I am looking at $674," said Greene.
The bill ballooned because of how the State Department of Transportation is going after late fees. Registered vehicle owners who do not pay their toll within 80 days or more will be mailed a $40 civil penalty for each unpaid toll transaction in addition to a $5 reprocessing fee.
WSDOT confirmed some tolls plus penalty fees have added up to more than $1,000.
"My point would be the penalty does not fit the crime," said Greene.
“If you do cross the bridge, pay your toll just like you would pay your parking downtown,” said Craig Stone with WSDOT.
Stone added that by getting the pre-paid Good to Go Pass, drivers can avoid dealing with late fees.
As for Greene's claim that he didn't get the bills in the first place, the state said it will not discuss individual claims. It says people with claims or disputes can request a hearing. Greene's hearing will be in June.
Last month, KING 5 reported that toll bills were being mailed in plain white envelopes with no marking that say a toll bill is inside or that it's from the Washington state Department of Transportation.