A City Council bill proposed in April would offer a discount to parking ticket scofflaws for outstanding fines racked up since the pandemic began and provide some extra cash for the city’s coffers. Proposed by Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera, the measure would eliminate fees and interest penalties for delayed or missed payments in exchange for paying a reduced sum at an agreed-upon date.

Under the proposal, the discounted rate would be 25% off the face value of the fine. The amnesty would not apply to commercial vehicles like UPS or FedEx trucks, because of their separate agreements with the city on parking-fine payments.

Cabrera, who is running for Bronx Borough president, noted that many New Yorkers have lost income during the shutdown created by Covid-19 and that parking violations and tickets may have come up unexpectedly during a time of financial stress.

A recent state comptroller’s report found that between 2012 and 2019, the Department of Finance failed to collect roughly $100 million in unpaid parking tickets and fees. Cabrera and others hope to get at least some of the money owed. “We know from the comptroller’s report that the city is missing out on more than $100 million in fines – revenue that we desperately need at this time,” he said.

Fernando Mateo, a Republican mayoral candidate, does not support the program: “I don’t think it’s responsible to pardon someone that has violated or broken the law. When you park illegally at a water hydrant or at a bus stop, or you double-park or park in a no-parking zone, you shouldn’t be pardoned. You should read the signs,” he said. “Democrats look to give out what’s not theirs. I think the city will need to pardon a lot of things, but this piece of legislation doesn’t make sense.”

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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