If you are one of millions of New Yorkers living paycheck-to-paycheck, paying just one traffic ticket could mean missing rent, going without healthcare, or living without basic necessities. If you can't afford to pay a fine or fees, you risk losing your driver's license, spiraling into debt, or being arrested.
These predatory court fees disproportionately tax on those who can least afford it. Since introducing mandatory surcharges and fees in the 1980s, lawmakers have repeatedly increased the amounts over the years. They even removed the ability of judges to waive the surcharge for people who could not afford to pay in 1995.
That's why we've been organizing to put an end to New York's predatory fines and fees. Watch the latest clip featuring our Long Island leaders Peggy, Mary, and TJ here!
<![if !vml]><![endif]>As they explain in the video, this system of taxation-by-citation encourages policing for profit, extracts wealth from people living in poverty, and exposes Black and brown New Yorkers to more encounters with police. The surcharge for violations increased 178% more than the inflation rate. For misdemeanors and felonies, the surcharge increased by 92% and 75%, respectively, relative to inflation.
New Yorkers deserve to feel safe in their communities. We deserve to live without fear of lifelong debt and poverty. New York state needs to end its dangerous reliance on fines and fees revenue. Click here to learn more about our policy recommendations.
Don't forget to watch and share the video, and to join the fight to end the system of fines and fees!
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