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Make More, Pay More? New NYC Bill Seeks Income-Based Fines for Parking Tickets, Other Violations



People who earn more money generally pay higher taxes than people who earn less. Should that go for fines, too?

That’s what the New York City Council is considering as part of a bill a Brooklyn representative brought before the chamber this week. Under council member Justin Brannan’s proposal, parking fees for violations like double-parking or idling, for example, would vary based on the offender’s daily disposable income.

Other civil fines could be subject to the same sliding scale — and in the five boroughs, those range from building infractions to illegal dumping to housing violations and more rules that incur civil penalties for violation.

Brannan, who represents Brooklyn’s 43rd District, introduced the bill on Thursday, alongside sponsors Lincoln Restler, who serves Brooklyn’s 33rd District, and Julie Won, who serves Queens’ 26th District. Specifically, it calls for the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings to devise and implement a “day-fines” pilot program.

That agency would be tasked with assessing which fine categories could be subject to income parameters, testing the program out for some unspecified pilot period, and reporting its findings back to city leadership for review.

Mayor Eric Adams would have to OK the pilot program in order for it to move forward. Brannan wants him to designate one or two city agencies to help run it — within 30 days — and he wants the test plan implemented within a year of Adams OKing the plan. The pilot program would have to use day-fines — or fines based on income — in lieu of fixed fines for at least 10 different local law violations for at least a year. Brannan didn’t specify which he’d target.


He told the Daily News, though, that double-parking should be one of the fine categories tested in the pilot.

The New York City Council had a busy day Tuesday, approving a slew of new legislation impacting everything from the pets you can legally buy in the five boroughs to vehicle idling, park bathrooms, ticket price transparency and more. NBC New York’s Linda Gaudino reports.

“Why should the guy who double-parked his 1988 Toyota pay the same as the guy with the 2024 Bentley?” Brannan asked the paper. “Instead of bankrupting working people while winking at the rich by setting the same fines for everyone, fines should be high enough to discourage people from breaking laws that endanger or inconvenience our neighbors but low enough that they don’t arbitrarily upend anyone’s life.”

The bill was referred to committee after Thursday’s introduction. Read the full text of it here.

Brannan says so-called “day-fines” would help the city recoup heavy losses, including some of the $2 billion it is currently owed. A recent independent budgeting report found most of that haul is tied to unpaid parking and speed-camera enforcement tickets, the News reported.

An Adams spokesperson told the paper that the mayor’s office will review Brannan’s proposal.

In the meantime, the City Council did approve some new laws earlier this month. See them here, and when they take effect.


Source: NBC New York

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