Tax Day: Advocates & State Legislators to Rally In Harlem For Bill to Eliminate Predatory Court Fines & Fees
After Passing New Taxes on the Wealthy, Policymakers Seek to Undo Harms of Extracting Revenue Through Police & Courts
WHAT: On Monday, May 17, advocates, elected officials, and impacted New Yorkers will hold a Tax Day rally to end predatory court fines and fees. This rally comes as low-income New Yorkers of color ravaged by COVID are seeing their stimulus checks garnished to pay court fees and fines.
New York’s top predatory fee is the “mandatory surcharge” attached to every conviction—even traffic tickets and the smallest violations. The fee can amount to hundreds of dollars and is regularly used by localities across New York to raise revenue. These surcharges, along with mandatory minimum fines, are a regressive tax on low-income and poor New Yorkers of color.
Speakers at this Tax Day rally on Monday will call on the New York state legislature to pass the End Predatory Court Fees Act and raise revenue through higher taxes on the wealthy. The End Predatory Court Fees Act will eliminate predatory court fees and mandatory minimum fines, while also ending incarceration and garnishment for unpaid fees and fines.
WHO: Leaders and members of the No Price on Justice coalition; New Yorkers impacted by predatory court fines and fees; New York State Senator Julia Salazar, lead co-sponsor of the End Predatory Court Fees Act; New York State Assembly Member Yuh-line Niou, lead co-sponsor of the End Predatory Court Fees Act; Assemblymembers Harvey Epstein and Carmen de la Rosa; and Senator Robert Jackson
WHERE: Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, 163 West 125th Street, near Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, Harlem, NYC.
WHEN: Monday, May 17th, 11 a.m.
(Note: those unable to attend in-person can register here to watch online.)
- The End Predatory Court Fees Act would eliminate court, parole & probation fees, mandatory minimum fines, incarceration on the basis of unpaid fines and fees, and garnishment of commissary accounts for unpaid fines and fees.
- A recent report published by the No Price on Justice campaign — New York’s Ferguson Problem — shows how the state’s reliance on fines and fees revenue encourages policing-for-profit, criminalizes poverty, and endangers Black and brown lives.
- Last year, California passed the most far-reaching fee elimination reforms to date, ending the collection of 23 fees charged to people in the criminal justice system — such as fees for public defenders, local booking fees, and probation and parole fees — and forgiving $16 billion in court debt. Momentum is building in numerous states around the U.S. for similar reforms.