Walter’s Perspective: Don’t Pay Your Tickets, Don’t Get Your Full Tax Refund

CHICAGO (CBS) — There is nothing more certain to be in the news than a story about money. So, consider this one: $80 million that people owe the city of Chicago in unpaid traffic tickets and fines for violating safety codes.

Mayor Emanuel is looking for ways to collect that money, and he’s found a pretty good one: the refunds we get on our state income tax. Owe the city money, don’t pay it, and the state will deduct it from your refund and send it to the mayor.

Consider the guy in the news who owes $21,000 in unpaid traffic tickets.  He’s expecting a refund, he says, and it’s unfair to deduct it. I say it’s unfair not to. He’s cheating and I’m paying.

Hey, pal, you don’t want to pay for a traffic ticket? Don’t get one.

Or the state rep in the news from Elmhurst, who says Emanuel wants to rake in money from the suburbs. It’s all about the money, he says. It’s a money grab.

It IS a money grab. Good for you, Mr. Mayor. Grab all you can.

  • 38Special

  • Rod Kuecker

    Walter, the primary reason the Suburbs exist is because Chicago is one of themost corrupt cities in the nation and we don’t want to live there. Chicago has been manufacturing Ghost Tickets to suburban motorists for years. Without a true and honest audit of where the cars were when the ticket was issued, there is no way to know how overstated the number of $80M Emanuel is throwing around actually is. It’s also time the Western part of Cook County tears away so we aren’t saddled with 11-13% sales tax on simple meals because Chicago can’t control itself. Bad idea Walter.

    • pawpaw

      I don’t care where you live, the police use tricks to generate revenue. In Wheeling there are speed traps along Dundee road, I got a speeding ticket for doing 37 in a 35 mph zone. This was in Morton Grove. I live in Chicago but work in the burbs.

    • 38Special

      Rod not only is Chicago one of the most corrupt cities, Chicago is “THE” most corrupt city did you not see the article?

    • eric g

      I paid the questionable ticket I got in Highland Park a couple years ago.

  • tom sharp

    I agree with Rod to a certain degree. A lot of the traffic fines are debatable, but there are plenty of people who owe money for other crimes that should be paid (building code violations, unpaid taxes, etc.). Also, if he is hell-bent on squeezing people to pay what’s owed, the biggest scofflaw is the State of Illinois which owes Chicago $hundred of millions. How about withholding sales tax and other revenue until Quinn and Madigan ante up!

    • Roberta Waker

      You’re right, Tom. My big concern is that Illinois State taxes should NOT be used to pay Chicago CITY tickets. If the offenders owe so much money, confiscate their cars, arrest or jail them – do something other than taking money from an almost bankrupt state. If this flies, State taxes will have to go up again and we will ALL pay in the end. There MUST be a better solution.

      • The real James Hamilton

        Roberta you are goofy in a funny way or funny in a goofy way lol, it’s not the states tax money the city is taking, it is the individuals refund check they are intercepting. This also hurts because it takes money out of circulation that could be spent for goods and services and puts it directly deposited into the Cities’ bank account. I think they said 30 to 80 million so that is money that could be circulated in our city that Rahm is trying to scarf off the top.

  • tom k

    Hey Skippy what about the hearing jidges at 400 w Superior you really think they are being fair. When they have a 99 percent coviction rate ? When has the city of Chicago got anything right 99 percent of the time the hearing officers are political hacks employed only because they have connections to the CITY. why dont you investigate that

  • Leon Johnson

    What are you drinking now walter,its enought corruption in city hall to pay everyone tickets twice,get on right side walter,you did that with daley while he broke the city,now with this SATAN pawn,To late, GOD taking over,judgement time for all this hate toward a certain group,cant save city with that garbage you talking,and Ra-cist garbage,the best minds wreck this city and states,

  • Max IMost

    Walter and Rahm is off of their rocker..Why can’t you seem to see that many people are late paying due to hard times.. O.K. I know that some people may be getting over but you will hurt innocent people, But neither of you wealthy guys care about the poor..

  • Roberta Waker

    Walter, you’re an idiot. Taking $80M in tickets owed to Chicago from the almost bankrupt State of Illinois is NOT a great idea. If the State loses this money, our taxes will go up. Just confiscate the cars of these “criminals” and leave us alone. State money is state money, it does not belong to Chicago. Walter, it is a BAD idea and you need to retire.

    • NotAScofflaw

      They are not taking any taxes from the state of illinois, they are only taking money from what people overpaid to the state. The only people losing money in this situation are the ones who refuse to pay the tickets they get.

  • Jack

    The fact that treasurer neely was against it makes me think that it’s a lot of blackswho owe the city for unpaid tickets.

  • Chicago News Stories for Feb 17 2012 : Travel tips, hotels, restaurants, jobs and news | Travel 2 Chicago

    […] with an 89-80 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night after blowing a 16-point lead.Walter’s Perspective: Don’t Pay Your Tickets, Don’t Get Your Full Tax RefundCBS 2′s Walter Jacobson praises Mayor Emanuel’s idea to aim for the pocketbooks of […]

  • Kelvin

    Whats funny is that the City and State were in bed together on this one. The state purposely with-held tax refunds until Rahm had a rush meeting to collect the tax returns. He already knew the outcome with these corrupt alderman we have in place. And the city was busy looking up ticket information almost 20 years old before the meeting was even held. Funny how the state magically started issuing refunds after the city hall vote. The thing is we all will have a vote soon and I hope it hits Rahm and everyone of these alderman where it hurts. Rahm is going to learn a hard lesson about what happens when you play with peoples money. And before you go calling people scofflaws take a moment and think about the bull____ way most of these tickets were generated.

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