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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  471 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Driven Into Debt: How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists Into Bankruptcy

Yeah but Desmond is totally different.

    In 2007, an estimated 1,000 Chapter 13 bankruptcies included debts to the city, usually for unpaid tickets, with the median amount claimed around $1,500 per case. By last year, the number of cases surpassed 10,000, with the typical debt to the city around $3,900.

$1500 in unpaid parking tickets is pretty goddamn unreal. How do you get there?

    That year alone, Reneau got 15 tickets, including seven $200 citations for not having a city sticker.

That's "you cannot park here" followed by "maybe I can get away with it" followed by "shit that cost me $200" seven times over. And I'm sympathetic to the plight of the working poor, but in this instance it is no harder to find a parking spot when you're poor than when you're rich. Yeah, rich folx can buy parking spots fer sure but if you've managed to get yourself seven citations in a year (that you can't pay) for parking where you aren't supposed to, stop. I got in the habit of riding my bike anywhere I could get in an hour or less because generally, bicycles don't cost $18 to park.

There are all sorts of things that bite the poor unfairly. Illustrating that poor people can't plan isn't sympathetic.

    City stickers, which must be purchased annually, cost about $87 for most passenger vehicles.

I subscribe to a neighborhood Facebook group. There was a lady on there who was looking for help because she sold a car to a friend for cheap and then forgot to transfer the title. The friend proceeded to ride in the express lane without a pass every day for three months, thereby saddling her with about $3k in fines and late fees. And I'm sorry she's a fuckup but the inability of either one of them to pay attention to the system isn't nearly as sympathetic as it could be.

Chicago wrote $264m in tickets. LA wrote $148m. Chicago's sales tax is 10%. LA's is 10%. Illinois' income tax is 5%. California's is 10%. I think we just found where that extra $100m in ticket writing comes from - whenever progressive taxes are inadequate, regressive taxes take over. Cigarettes, sales tax, gas tax, parking tickets, you name it.

Yes, I get it. Chicago is vastly more punitive towards tickets than other metropolises. The Midwest in general is vastly more punitive towards all moving violations. And yes. There's an entire ecosystem of punitive organizations ready to flence the victims.

    A single mother of two teenage boys, White moved reluctantly to the South Shore neighborhood a few years ago when she could no longer afford rent in the suburbs. Almost immediately, she started accumulating tickets, many of them speed camera violations.

so fucking slow down. I recognize that personal responsibility is a whole 'nuther issue and I agree that the stakes are entirely too goddamn high but where I grew up, if a cop said I was "drag racing" I lost my license for two years entirely on his say. I could hit two pedestrians and still keep it. The first time the speed camera gets you you're mad at the camera. If you're mad at anyone but yourself the second time you're living in denial.