NEW YORK (PIX11) — William, an electrician and single investment property owner in Hell’s Kitchen, works hard to put food on the table.
When it comes to facing city building violations, William said he would welcome a system that tries to level the playing field between “mom and pop” landlords and wealthier, big-time developers.
“I got a building myself. I don’t think it is fair for me to pay the same fees as a person that owns a multi-family unit, or a big developer, in other words,” he said.
Brooklyn City Council Member Justin Brannan hopes his newly proposed legislation will inject what he called equity into the city’s complicated system of fees and penalties. The system of so-called “day fines” has been used in several European countries for decades.
“We think that fines based, according to income, would deliver that equity,” said Brannan. “It’s 2023, and they have the technology where they could pull it up right away pull up your tax receipt online and the fine will be calculated according to your income.”
Brannan’s bill addresses only civil penalties heard by the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, also known as “OATH”. OATH does not process parking and traffic tickets, but there are dozens of other violations, like the failure to comply with directives of a department employee or littering.
However, not everyone who spoke with PIX11 News was supportive of the legislation.
“The rules are supposed to be for everyone. I’m not going to be on this level forever. Who knows? Next month I might be the big guy back there,” said Yelogni, a driver on West 46th Street.