Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



  • It's Time to End New York’s Abusive 'Poor Tax'

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    Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, the author (photo: NYC Department of Transportation)

    Every day, our court system loads New Yorkers down with additional fees that further criminalize poverty while doing nothing to make us safer. In fact, these court fees are among the government’s most effective means of extracting money from New Yorkers most at risk of poverty and least able to bear the financial burden.

    How much money are we talking about? Every single day, New York’s courts levy around $14,000 in regressive administrative surcharges, fees and fines, on top of

  • New York City Cannot Fine Its Way Through a Covid Recovery

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    "Save Small Business" (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The next few years in New York City will no doubt be challenging. 

    In a few months, a new mayoral administration and the next City Council will inherit the worst financial situation in 20 years. The path ahead will be difficult as we try to lure tourism and business back to New York, in hopes of closing budget gaps that will threaten vital social services above all else. We must learn from the lessons of the past, however, to guarantee this isn’t a recovery built off the

  • Amnesty Program Clears $150 Million Owed to City

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    Mayor de Blasio hands a pen to CM Ferreras-Copeland (photo: @JulissaFerreras)

    A three-month amnesty program run by the city Department of Finance cleared more than $150 million in penalties owed by New Yorkers due to fines from various city agencies. Proposed by City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and agreed to by the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio, the September-to-December fine forgiveness program was aimed at addressing some of $1 billion in debt owed to the city and is being heralded as a success by officials involved.

    The program, which was the first of its kind