City skips over two-ticket boot proposal

CHICAGO A Department of Revenue proposal that cracks down on drivers with just two unpaid tickets was supposed to go before the Committee on Finance on Monday. It was not discussed.

The measure, which is supported by Mayor Daley, would allow officials to give the dreaded Denver boot to cars with outstanding tickets- either from parking or red-light violations.

The proposal-- which would be the toughest crackdown on drivers with violations in the country-- is the result of the weakening economic conditions in Chicago, which has a $400 to 500-million budget shortfall.

In 2002, Chicago lowered the threshold for booting from five tickets to three. In Boston and Los Angeles, cars get booted at five tickets. In Houston, the boots go on at three tickets. New York relies on towing.

About 10-percent of the budget shortfall could be made up with the lower boot trigger, according to officials.

Aldermen are divided on the measure.

The mayor's proposal would make more than 208,000 more vehicles eligible for booting -- at least 3.5 times more than were booted last year.

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