In partnership with fellow Alderman and Mayor Emanuel, I am glad to announce an Amnesty Program that will waive penalties and fees for outstanding debt along with payment plan options. As part of our 2016 budget process, the Mayor and the City Council want to provide Chicagoans who owe debt to the city an opportunity to pay the original amount owed without the added penalties for delinquent lack of payment for debt before 2012.
Under the proposed amnesty program, any anyone or any business that owes the City money or parking tickets and other violations and business taxes that were inquired before 2012 will be granted amnesty for the penalties and interest those eligible violations have accrued. Individuals would still be responsible for the ticket or fine amount, but will not have to pay the increased fees for failing to pay on time.
I've heard from many residents and business owners telling me about the burdens they are experiencing related to fines, penalties, and business related taxes. The want to pay, but with the penalties and interest, it makes it very difficult. This amnesty program will provide businesses and the public an opportunity to get fines and penalties removed from eligible debts owed and pay the baseline penalties. The Mayor and City Council want to help in these difficult times as we have to make very difficult decisions. The amnesty program will provide that sought after relief.
This payment arrangement is scheduled to begin November 1, 2015 and end December 15, 2015.
In addition to providing an amnesty program, the Mayor and City Council are considering an ordinance amendment that would allow all vehicle owners to enter into a payment plan prior to the fines and fees doubling on parking tickets. Currently, payment plans are only available to vehicle owners after a final determination has been made on a ticket and the fee doubled. Our hope is that this will allow all Chicagoans to enter into a payment plan for tickets received, so that they're paid on time and without the excessive fees. We want to make Chicago financially accessible to all, and hope that easy payment options will help residents avoid having their vehicles booted and/or confiscated. This change in policy will be a big help and save motorist money.
I have worked for this change the last 4 years and am delighted I can say "we have gotten it done"!!