New York City Department of Finance & Council Member Ben Kallos Urge Upper Eastside Businesses to Take Advantage of “Forgiving Fines: The New York City Amnesty Program”

10/19/2016

New York City Department of Finance & Council Member Ben Kallos

Urge Upper Eastside Businesses to Take Advantage of

“Forgiving Fines: The New York City Amnesty Program”

Maz Mezcal Mexican Restaurant, Upper Eastside — New York City Department of Finance (DOF) Commissioner Jacques Jiha, DOF Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Shear, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce President, Ms. Jessica Walker and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU), gather to encourage Upper East Side businesses to take advantage of “Forgiving Fines: The New York City Amnesty Program.” This 90-day initiative will forgive penalties and interest on violations received by individuals and business owners from the Department of Sanitation, Department of Buildings and other City agencies, reducing and eliminating debt owed to the City. The program runs from September 12, 2016 to December 12, 2016 and covers unpaid violations that are now in judgment. There are roughly 1.4 million violations in judgment.

Under the three-month amnesty program authorized by Mayor de Blasio and the City Council, New York City is forgiving penalties, interest and added fees on violations received by home and business owners from the Department of Sanitation, Department of Buildings, NYPD, FDNY and other City agencies. 

"Upper East Side small businesses have gone through a lot over the last couple of years with the construction of the 2nd Avenue Subway. Those same businesses are what make this community special and this neighborhood desirable," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "The Department of Finance's Forgiving Fines program gives small businesses a chance to catch up on outstanding fines and start with a cleaner slate. The program offers a 90-day window to participate and I encourage businesses with unpaid fines to use this opportunity."

 “Close to 700,000 violations have gone into judgment,” said Jacques Jiha, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance, which administers the amnesty program. “The last time we offered any kind of penalty relief was in 2009, and we believe the time has come to give New York City taxpayers the opportunity and incentive to resolve their debt with the City.” 

“Finally, the benefits of the second avenue subway construction are beginning to be seen. This measure will to a long way toward helping to protect the businesses that were disrupted in the process,” said Jessica Walker President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

Any business or individual with violations in judgment that have been adjudicated by the Environmental Control Board may participate in the New York City Amnesty Program. The amnesty program provides the following penalty relief:

  • Individuals and businesses with judgments containing hearing default penalties can have 100% of the penalties as well as interest forgiven
  • Those whose attended hearings and do not have default penalties only have to pay 75% of the base fine

After the amnesty period, individuals and businesses will have to pay 100% of interest and penalties on top of their base fines:

The amnesty program covers two types of violations: those that do not require corrective action and those that do. Below are some of the most common violations:

•Illegal Posting of Handbill or Notice

•Snow, Ice or Dirt on Sidewalk

•Improper Storage of Receptacles

•Improper or Misused Recycling Containers

•Improper Disposal of Trash or Recyclables

•Failure to Comply with an Order of the Commissioner

•Failure to Properly place Recyclables for Collection

•Work without a Permit

•Failure to Conduct Required Inspections and Tests

•Failure to submit Affidavits, Design/Installation or Other Documents

•Vending Merchandise or Food in a Restricted Area

For more information on the New York City “Forgiving Fines: The New York City Amnesty Program,”  visit us online: http:// nyc.gov/forgivingfines .