Chicago Debt Amnesty Program Goes Into Effect on November 15, 2015.

Fresh off his historical property tax increase, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is instituting an amnesty program for people with unpaid tickets, back taxes and other fees owed to the City of Chicago. The plan is part of a concerted effort on the Mayor’s part to prove that he is not intending to increase the cost of living in Chicago for all residents.[i] The program will begin on Sunday, November 15, 2015 and run through December 31, 2015.

Debts eligible for the amnesty program include “unpaid parking and red light camera violations, fines imposed by the Department of Administrative Hearings (e.g., building code violations, drinking on the public way), and taxes (both non-filers and tax assessments) incurred prior to January 1, 2012.[ii] “Penalties, interest and collection costs associated with the eligible debt will be waived during the [amnesty program], reducing the amount of due to the original fine or tax amount.”[iii]

Violations and tax obligations that are currently in a payment plan or have pending legal activity with the City do not apply. Further, “tow fees, storage fees, administrative fees, court costs, and other charges are not subject to the [amnesty program].”

Specific information for relief under the amnesty program may be found at the following links:

Amnesty Program General Information: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fin/provdrs/accounts_receivabledivision/news/2015/october/DebtReliefProgram.html

Parking & Red Light Tickets: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/fin/supp_info/Revenue/Amnesty_FAQ_Parking_Red_Light.pdf

Administrative Hearings Fines: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/fin/supp_info/Revenue/Amnesty_FAQ_AH_Fines.pdf

Tax Debt: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/fin/supp_info/Revenue/Amnesty_FAQ_TAX.pdf

Ansari & Shapiro is a full service law firm specializing in the areas of real estate, business and special needs planning.

[i]  Kate Shepherd, Unpaid Tickets And Taxes? Emanuel Launches An Amnesty Program, http://chicagoist.com/2015/09/04/emanuel_to_offer_amnesty_program_fo.php

[ii] City of Chicago Debt Relief Program Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/fin/provdrs/accounts_receivabledivision/news/2015/october/DebtReliefProgram.html

[iii] Id.