From the Daily News:
Deadbeat landlords who fail to pay their bills or correct unsafe conditions should be barred from obtaining building permits to expand their empires, lawmakers and activists say.
"It's ludicrous," said City Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx), who is pushing for what he calls "bad actors" legislation to curtail the practice.
"We're in such a financial crisis," he said. "The city should say, 'Wait a minute. You want to put a building in Middletown Road? You owe us money here. No permit until you pay. You have to be in good standing with the city.'"
Vacca, upset over a building owner in his district who got permits on a new condo tower while owing roughly $300,000 on other properties, says the city should focus collection efforts on people who need something like new permits from the city.
"What good is enacting legislation increasing fines when we can't collect what we've levied?" he asked.
An audit last month by city Controller William Thompson called for a similar crackdown.
The audit found 75,000 unpaid building code violations totaling $202 million and little effort to bar the scofflaws from future projects.
Some violations have been outstanding for as many as 10 years.
The Daily News has more on collecting outstanding fines from deadbeats. They even wrote an editorial about it.