UPDATED 03/05/12 10:10 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday that money seized from scofflaws through their state income tax refunds will allow the city to provide to nearly 20,000 young people with more summer jobs, more day camp openings and other summer activities.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the mayor said Monday that $5.2 million have already been collected from scofflaws who have not paid tickets or outstanding fees owed the city. Emanuel calls the fund the “safety surplus.”
The mayor expects $3.3 million more to be added in the weeks ahead, for a total of $8.5 million.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
In addition to the summer jobs, day camp slots and more the extra money will also allow the city to bring on 50 new cadets for the June 2012 Chicago Police Academy class, Emanuel said.
The city will devote $2 million each to summer jobs with local businesses, $2 million more for apprenticeships and internships through the After School Matters program, and another $2 million for the new police cadets. In addition, $2.5 million will go toward Chicago Park District programs, Mayor Emanuel said in a news release.
“Nineteen thousands seven hundred children will either have summer camp, a summer job, or summer activity – athletic, academic, or artistic – whatever their interests are, that we could not provide,” the mayor said.
So far, 28,000 people have had money taken from their state income tax returns, and more than 15,000 of them don’t even live in the city of Chicago, Emanuel said.
“Around 54 percent of the money is from people that do not live in the city of Chicago,” the mayor said.
Last month, the City Council approved an ordinance that allows city revenue collectors to take income tax refunds from people who owe outstanding debts.
When the ordinance was approved on Feb. 15, the city was owed some $400 million in unpaid tickets.