Time is running out for businesses with outstanding fines to pay them without penalties.
The deadline to apply for the city amnesty program is Monday, Dec. 21. The response so far has exceeded the city's expectations by $1 million—more than $4 million has been collected—but the potential exists for nearly $200 million more.
To encourage businesses to beat the deadline, the City Council posted a YouTube video on its home page today. The program grew out of a suggestion by Councilman Thomas White of Queens and was included in a series of proposals Speaker Christine Quinn's mentioned in her state of the city speech last winter.
“We'll make sure fines aren't dragging these businesses down, and get millions of dollars flowing into city coffers,” Ms. Quinn said in her annual address. At the time, $150 million in fines were outstanding, not including late fees. The amount owed today is more than $700 million, including penalties and interest.
Many violators who don't take advantage of the amnesty will end up owing two or three times more than they would pay under the NYC Penalty Relief Program, according to the city Department of Finance.
Environmental Control Board debt includes Sanitation, Buildings Department and other quality of life violations. A list of the most common violations follows:
1. Dirty sidewalk
2. Illegal posting of a handbill or notice
3. Vending in a restricted area such as a bus stop or within
10 feet of a driveway, subway, crosswalk, etc.
4. Vending merchandise or food without a license
5. Failure to restore a street cut
6. Failure to properly post permits
7. Sidewalk obstruction
8. Street closing without permit
9. Failure to properly separate recyclable materials
10. Unlicensed mobile vendor