City Rakes in $5.7 Million in Unpaid Tickets, Fines During Amnesty

Tons of Parking TicketsTens of thousands of Chicagoans came out of hiding to pay long-overdue tickets and city fines, adding $5.7 million to city coffers during the most recent amnesty program, according to the city’s Department of Finance.

Scofflaws with unpaid tickets and other debts took advantage of a six-week debt relief program, which temporarily returned all outstanding debt for tickets, business taxes and administrative fines to the original fine amount, minus late fees and collection costs. Those who took advantage during the Nov. 15 to Dec. 31 amnesty saw their debt go down by more than 50 percent in many cases.

Facing a huge budget deficit and with over $1.5 billion in uncollected parking, red light and speed camera tickets, Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed the amnesty during fall budget hearings.

Of the total collected amount, $5.3 million came from motorists paying old parking and red light camera tickets from before 2012. Another $340,000 came from unpaid administrative fines and about $14,000 from overdue business taxes, according to the finance department.

“The fact that over 90,000 parking and red light tickets got paid off — that’s a success,” said Department of Finance spokesperson Molly Poppe. “We’re happy with this number.”

Though the program ran for six weeks, about half the close to $6 million was collected during the last two weeks of the amnesty, she said.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

3 Responses to City Rakes in $5.7 Million in Unpaid Tickets, Fines During Amnesty

  1. Jeff says:

    If city hall focused on recent tickets rather than chasing down 10, 20 year old fines, they probably wouldn’t have such a backlog of deadbeats

  2. The fact the city depends upon predatory red light and speed camera tickets to support the budget tells the story. Enforcement for profits is 100% wrong, 100% of the time, and Chicago has been a serial offender in enforcement for profits for more than a decade.

    Chicago residents must demand an end to ticket camera programs and a more responsible city hall budget.

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association

  3. Jeff says:

    They should have a special amnesty for Rahm and his buddies who regularly rack up camera tickets.

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