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NYC Street Vendors Want Fines For Minor Violations Lowered

Street vendors rally outside City Hall in New York City on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 (credit: Stan Brooks/1010 WINS)

Street vendors rally outside City Hall in New York City on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 (credit: Stan Brooks/1010 WINS)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Street vendors are calling on New York City to lower what they say are excessive fines that are being imposed for minor violations.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

City council members, advocates and venders rallied in front of City Hall Tuesday morning protesting against the $1,000 penalties vendors say are a big hit to their modest incomes.

“We’re not saying that we don’t want to pay a fine, but $1,000 is too much,”one vendor said. “When you give a guy a $1,000 fine, it usually eliminates their business.”

The vendors are backing a City Council bill that would revise and reduce the fines, which some contend are simply unfair and senseless.

“Many vendors get ticket for $1,000 because they are not displaying their ID,” one vendor said at a similar protest back in February. “Sometime they have it in their pockets, sometimes they have it in their jacket.”

At Tuesday’s rally, City Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito said a survey showed lower fines actually bring in more money than higher ones.

“The City of New York belongs to every one of us,” she said. “And we have the right to be here and to earn a living.”

Last year, 26,000 tickets were handed out to vendors.

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