Department of Finance Extends the Fine and Interest Reduction Program

NEW YORK -
(123rf)

The Department of Finance today announced a 90-day extension of the FAIRER (Fine and Interest Reduction Enabling Recovery) Program, which was launched on September 20, 2021 to allow New Yorkers and others to pay a reduced amount to resolve eligible Environmental Control Board (ECB) judgments.

The FAIRER Program, like the 2016 Forgiving Fines program, is an amnesty program for individuals and businesses who have unresolved judgments for ECB violations issued by agencies such as the Sanitation, Fire and Buildings Departments. Eligible violations can range anywhere from littering to working without a permit from the Buildings Department.

The FAIRER Program covers two types of judgments: those that only require payment and those that require both payment and corrective action.

A compliance judgment, which includes an order requiring the correction of the violation, may be resolved under the FAIRER Program only if compliance is shown.

The program establishes different reduction amounts depending on factors such as whether an individual or business attended a hearing or whether the judgments occurred during or prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the violation contains a default penalty for not attending a hearing, the penalty and interest may be reduced.

If there is no default penalty and the violation was entered between March 7, 2020, and June 23, 2021, the reduction will be 75% of the base fine and interest.

If there is no default penalty and the violation was entered before March 7, 2020, the reduction will be 25% of the base fine and interest.

The program was originally established for three months and authorized the Commissioner of the Department of Finance to extend the program for an additional 90 days.

Nearly 21,000 businesses and individuals have resolved their unpaid judgments under the FAIRER Program.