2005-11-11 / Front Page

Schumer-Clinton Law Makes Diplomats Pay Up

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that an amendment that would cut foreign aid to nations that owe New York City unpaid parking tickets and back property taxes has been included in the final report of a 2006 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.

The House-Senate Conference bill now awaits final approval by Congress before heading to the President for his signature.

Despite significant progress over the last year to collect parking tickets and property taxes from deadbeat diplomats, New York City is still owed millions from foreign consulates and embassies. This amendment would withhold foreign aid money from countries that incur such debts.

“It is simply outrageous for foreign diplomats and consular officials to shirk their responsibilities by parking illegally and ignoring their parking tickets. New Yorkers have to face severe financial penalties, and so should diplomats,” Senator Clinton stated.

The Schumer-Clinton amendment will tack on an additional ten percent penalty, and foreign aid will be withheld until the Secretary of State has assured Congress that debts have been paid in full. This amendment would also apply to unpaid debts owed to Washington, D.C.

“If you or I ignore a parking ticket, we have to pay double the fine. If a diplomat ignores a parking ticket, we send him foreign aid. That makes no sense. And forget about not paying your property tax bill-they’ll take your house. Well, regardless of who you are or where you are from, you’re not above the law in New York,” Senator Schumer said.

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