Illinois Comptroller Makes Photo Ticket Payment Optional

Illinois motorists who receive a ticket in the mail may not have to worry as much about paying them. Citing widespread corruption in the automated ticketing industry, state Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza on Monday announced she would cut off the ability of municipalities to use the state to help enforce collection of $100 red light camera tickets. The change would take effect February 6.

“As a matter of public policy, this system is clearly broken,” Mendoza said in a statement. “I am exercising the moral authority to prevent state resources being used to assist a shady process that victimizes taxpayers.”

Under Illinois law (15 ILCS 405/10.05), the comptroller “may” withhold state income tax refunds for someone accused by a unit of local government of not paying a debt. The statute was meant for debts such as unpaid child support, but increasingly they have been used by Chicago suburbs and their private, for-profit photo ticketing vendors to collect on camera citations that have not been received or have been ignored.