New York Legislators Want Share of Foreign Aid Withheld For Parking Fines

A discarded New York parking ticket. New York legislators have introduced a reform proposal to penalize foreign diplomats who have millions of dollars worth of unpaid parking fines. Photo by: Michael / CC BY

Three representatives from the state of New York have introduced a reform proposal to penalize foreign diplomats who have millions of dollars worth of unpaid parking fines. The legislators also want New York City to receive a share of U.S. financial aid that is withheld from these countries to cover the cost of their fines.

House Resolution 1836 seeks to “establish appropriate procedures and sanctions to ensure that unpaid parking fines and penalties owed to New York City by foreign countries are paid.” It was introduced May 11 by Republican Reps. Michael Grimm and Peter King and Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns of New York.

The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 contains provisions that allow the United States to withhold up to 110 percent of unpaid parking fines owed to the District of Columbia and New York City from foreign aid allocated to countries that owe the fines. The withheld aid is not transferred to New York City but remains in the U.S. federal coffers, Grimm said, according to the New York Daily News.

The reform proposal was introduced as the U.S. Congress prepares to deliberate the country’s federal budget for fiscal 2012. Republicans in the House have shown keenness to implement massive cuts in U.S. international affairs budget.

Read more about U.S. development aid.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.