What are the NYC commercial parking ticket reduction programs?
The Evil Empire, to promote commercial enterprise, offers the owners of commercial vehicles making deliveries or service calls in NYC of paying a reduced parking fine in exchange for waiving their rights to contest parking summonses (There are two NYC commercial parking ticket reduction programs). Payment of these reduced parking fines are supposed to be made within 15 days.
The greatest reductions are given to member companies enrolled in the Stipulated Fine Program. Companies completing deliveries or service calls within thirty (30) minutes are eligible to join. The second parking ticket deduction program is the Commercial Abatement Program. Parking fines are not reduced as much as in the Stipulated Fine Program; however, there is no time limit for making deliveries or service calls imposed on members.
In addition to fine deductions, the benefits of membership in both programs include:
- Outstanding balances of Program participants are not assessed penalties or interest,
- Vehicles are not subject to tow,
- DOF does not pursue judgments against participants for unpaid summonses.
- Participants are required to pay off all outstanding summonses issued before they enter into the Program.
- However, the amount commercial fleets pay is based upon a pre-determined reduced rate for each type of violation
- Owners of commercial fleets may enter into a payment agreement
The chilly winds of change are blowing on the NYC Commercial Parking Ticket Deduction Programs
The NYC Comptroller, John C. Liu, authorized an audit of the Evil Empire’s efforts to collect outstanding parking fines from commercial fleet owners enrolled in the Commercial Abatement Program or the Stipulated Fine Program.
Here are the results:
Audit Findings and Conclusions
“DOF does not effectively pursue collection of outstanding fines for parking summonses issued to vehicles owned by companies participating in its Stipulated Fine and Commercial Abatement Programs. Further, companies were also allowed to continue in the Programs even after failing to pay for summonses issued prior to enrollment. In some cases, companies agreed to pay summonses when they entered the Program, made one partial payment, and then failed to make any further payments. DOF has no procedures on how to deal with non-compliant participants. DOF’s pursuit of this debt is non-existent. As of April 2012, 1,517 companies participating in these reduced fine Programs owe $9,262,544. However, if DOF were to adhere to the signed enrollment agreement and exercise its right to remove the non-compliant participants from the Programs, unpaid summonses could be restored to the original amounts and DOF could seek judgments and pursue all enforcement efforts against those companies with outstanding balances.”
Who do you trust in this debate?
Comptroller John Liu:
“It’s bad enough that people feel like they constantly blitz with parking tickets,” Liu said. “It’s absolutely galling to now find that the City lets big companies off the hook for millions in parking tickets.”
The response to the audit by the Evil Empire:
“The audit is not accurate. The fact is Finance has collected 99 percent of the revenue associated with fines issued to companies enrolled in this program over the past two years,” said Owen Stone. “Finance is already going above and beyond what the comptroller has recommended continuing to improve on our strong collection rates.”
The NYC Department of Finance added:
“It collected $54 million of $58 million billed under the discount programs in 2011. It also said it is creating an online system that will streamline the process for companies to check open tickets.
In addition, the NYC DOF said as of next month all companies who are in discount programs will have to pay their debts entirely and sign a new agreement to stay in the program. Any company that has more than $350 in judgments against it will be removed from the program and be subjected to booting and towed”
The Comptroller’s recommendations:
The NYC DOF should:
- Revise its Weekly Fleet Summons Issuance Report to include all (not just newly issued) outstanding summonses sent to participants.
- Closely watch Program participants’ debt to ensure their compliance with Programs’ policies.
- Establish formal written policies of enforcement actions to be taken against non-compliant companies, such as:
- Implement enhanced notification efforts of any participant that does not pay all outstanding summonses listed on the Weekly Fleet Summons Issuance Report;
- Set criteria to remove non-compliant companies from the Programs (i.e., set a monetary threshold or specify payment deadlines); and
- Institute penalties and/or late fees for untimely payments.
- Remove companies that are not abiding by the terms of their enrollment agreement and restore the summonses to the unreduced amount. Then pursue collection of restored summonses through default judgment in the amount of the original unreduced fine amount and impose all penalties and interest in accordance with the RCNY, §39-03.1.
Agency Response DOF, in its response, has in substance agreed to carry out our four recommendations. While there may be a disagreement over what has occurred and when, there is agreement over the appropriate course of action to take in improving the effectiveness of DOF in collecting unpaid fines.
I thought the last political debate was between President Obama and Governor Romney last night. I guess the political debate will never end leaving us to separate truth from fiction. I love that the NYC DOF agrees to implement all of the comptroller’s recommendations while arguing that the reasons cited by the comptroller are not accurate.
I hate the Evil Empire pulled the plug on the private passenger fine reduction program on January 31, 2012. But, I don’t agree with Comptroller Liu that because you eliminate one settlement program for private vehicles you eliminate the commercial parking ticket settlement programs.
Here’s my warning to commercial fleet (1 or more vehicles) owners…the commercial programs are worthless if you’re going to be treated equally by the Evil Empire. New York Parking Ticket LLC has proven we can achieve better dismissal results than the Commercial Abatement Program. However, it is tough to match the reductions offered in the Stipulated Fine Program.
Pay-up or get out, towing trucks with unpaid judgments exceeding $350, and removal from the Program are unnecessary pain inflicted on commercial enterprises for the privilege of doing business in NYC. Consider:
- The revenue produced for NYC by these companies that make deliveries or service calls in the 5 boroughs
- The added costs that will inevitably be passed on to businesses that depend upon deliveries and service calls from fleet owners
- And much, much more
Private people like you and me deserve a fair and unbiased system of parking ticket justice, including reduced fines. The big but is the Evil Empire shouldn’t punish commercial fleet owners because they receive and deserve certain benefits.
What do you think? Please share your opinions. They matter a whole bunch to us.