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Drive with Caution

Photo by Ian Sane at creativecommons.com

CHICAGO — City council members passed a proposal made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday, February 15 with the hopes to collect up to $10 million this year in unpaid fines through state income tax refunds.

Not to worry, if you pay your violation fees, you are in the clear. According to Tina Consola, managing deputy director of the city Finance Department, the money that will be deducted from state income tax refunds only applies to those who have been repeatedly notified and have still failed to pay.

Many people in the city find this new regulation to be a positive thing, a very enthusiastic Chicago native, 23 year old Mike (last name not provided) exclaimed, “Hell yes! Lets dig the city out of this hole”.

Car owner, Blake Reigon, 31, also from Chicago, agrees with the cities new proposal to lower debt. “You shouldn’t be able to receive money from the state if you owe them (money)”, he explained.

He later began explaining that parking in the city is an easy thing if you just pay attention. Blake continued, “If you can’t afford to pay your tickets then you shouldn’t be able to afford owning a car, right?”

Mayor Emanuel’s goal behind his budget cuts is to avoid raising taxes. During the city council meeting on Wednesday, he justifies, “At every level we have protected the taxpayer.”

With the vote coming to a landslide of 41-8, Emanuel’s administration have the go ahead to collect debtors money as they saw fit.

Opponents feel differently about Emanuel’s anti-debt direction. Chicago citizen, Mary White, age 28 feels that, “it is a violation of privacy to just take money from our tax refunds… a little big brotherish if you ask me.”

Alderman Robert Fioretti, one of the 8 Ald. to vote against Emanuel feels that the city’s administrative hearing system should be renovated before tax refunds are at the forefront.

He refers to the system as “a kangaroo court”, it is a lose/lose trying to fight against an issued ticket.

Paige (last name not provided) age 23 just recently moved to Chicago and has already received a parking ticket in which she plans to fight. Disapproving, she states, “It somehow infringes on my freedom to have my taxes dipped into… I rely on tax refunds.”

The city of Chicago is facing about $80 million of debt, but this refund regulation won’t cover all of it.

Emanuel’s tax refund plan will protect the “law-abiding citizens” from supporting the rest of the city.

“Either way you have to pay, chances are if you haven’t paid (violations) you might not,” stated Annie Gudorf, Chicago resident, age 21, “Emanuel is just making sure that everyone is carrying there own weight… good thing.”


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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.