From the Daily News:
Deadbeat contractors and developers have left a trail of destruction across the city, racking up more than $263 million in unpaid fines, yet many continue to work unpunished.
Many fines are levied but few are collected. Last year, the Buildings Department collected $1 for every $5 in fines, issuing $132.4 million in penalties while taking in just $29 million, records show.
Of the $263 million in unpaid fines dating back to 2000, $130 million has been deemed "uncollectable" because violators lack assets, went out of business or beat the clock on the eight-year statute of limitations.
"This failure to collect revenue is particularly galling when we are talking about closing Fire Department engine companies," said Councilman James Oddo (R-S.I.), chairman of the Task Force to Improve the Buildings Department. "What good is it when we enact laws and they don't have teeth?"
A bill has been introduced in response.