Illinois Might Not Take Oververdue Fines Out of 2020 Tax Refunds
We already know (or maybe you didn't) the Illinois Comptroller announced they would no longer take unpaid red-light camera ticket fines state income-tax refunds. This was done for a few reasons, including government officials getting a cut of those fines and the impact the fines might have on "poor families."
More than 90% of red-light camera tickets in many jurisdictions are not for running through red lights, but rather for failing to make a full stop during a legal right turn on red.
Do not get too excited, if you have unpaid fines on a local level you are not necessarily in the clear this year, and certainly won't see the fines 100% expunged from your record permanently. Not all tax payers will get this temporary financial break. So who qualifies as "working-class"?
a family of four earning $56,844 a year or less or a single person earning $15,820 a year or less qualifies.
It's a safe assumption that many families in Illinois are more than counting on their state income tax refunds as a way to climb out of the financial burden that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused.
Comptroller Sue Mendoza said these fines total $15,000,000 and by not collecting this year it will benefit these families.
The average hit to families that are offset is $363 and can involve multiple tickets. Sometimes the fines have doubled. Families count on those income tax refunds to pay for more critical bills, like rent, groceries, and medications.
The comptroller's office did mention one very important fact when it comes to these fines.
This policy does not eliminate fines, but rather defers collections to help people struggling through this pandemic. This is not an amnesty. The Comptroller’s Office does not have the authority to forgive debt.
Read the entire statement HERE.