Chicago announces extension of temporary fine and fee forgiveness

Chicago announces extension of temporary fine and fee forgiveness
Photo: Chicago Tribune

It’s almost time to pay the piper (aka the City). But not quite.

Yesterday Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and City Comptroller Reshma Soni announced the City’s phased approach for ticketing and enforcement to help residents who are continuing to experience financial hardship due to COVID-19.  

The announcement comes after the Lightfoot Administration temporarily suspended many of the City’s enforcement activities including debt collection and payment plan defaults on utility bills, compliance and other violations in an effort to provide financial relief to residents experiencing increased financial pressure from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

During this time, the City only continued ticketing enforcement for public safety and parking meter violations.

On June 3, the city officially moved into phase three of its ‘Protecting Chicago’ re-opening framework ‘Cautiously Reopen.’

On Monday, June 8, the City will resume several services and reopen many of its buildings.

Beginning July 1, the City will also use a staggered approach to phase in the collection of business taxes that have been deferred, as well as resume regular ticketing and collections.

Here’s what you need to know:

Beginning June 8

  • City Hall Payment Center re-opens. 
  • The payment center located at 400 W. Superior will continue to operate while the neighborhood payment centers will open in phases throughout June.
  • Motorists with unpaid tickets who had not been assessed penalties prior to March 18, 2020 will receive notices informing them of due dates and timelines around penalties.
  • Reminder notices will be sent for ticket and utility payment plans.
  • Ticketing will continue for public safety violations and for unpaid parking meters.

Beginning July 1

  • Late payment penalties will be assessed on past due utility balances.
  • Past due payment plans will be defaulted.
  • Collection and enforcement activities including booting will continue.
  • Residential and municipal utility customers with payment due dates prior to June 30 will not be assessed additional penalties until July 1.
  • Ticket enforcement activities will increase citywide including street sweeping violations.

Beginning July 15

  • Certain deferred tax payments will become due.
  • Motorists will receive a grace period through July 15 to purchase residential parking permits, city stickers and renew license plates before enforcement begins on July 16. 

While the City Hall payment center will reopen in phase three the City will require all residents making physical payments in person to abide by important guidance, including: physically distancing and wearing a face covering; limiting capacity to <10 persons; and staying at home if you feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19.

Residents are strongly encouraged to utilize other methods to make payments including City kiosks and the online portal.

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