Is The Gang Of Eight Plan "Amnesty"?
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The "Gang of Eight" senators argue that their bill (S.744) is not an amnesty because illegal immigrants would have to pay a fine and fulfill other requirements as a condition of legalization. Yet seven recent tax and parking-ticket amnesties imposed conditions and payments on those who violated the law, and in every case these programs were considered to be an amnesty by elected officials, the public, and the media. Like the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill, each of the amnesties discussed below set aside the normal penalty but still required payments.
Examples of recent amnesties:
- In 2012 Rhode Island offered what the state government and media outlets explicitly called a "tax amnesty". The state even created the website www.TaxAmnesty.ri.gov to promote it. The amnesty allowed certain taxpayers to pay overdue taxes plus seventy-five percent of interest due by November 15. The remaining interest and civil and criminal penalties were waived.
- The town of Huntington, N.Y., just completed a parking ticket program described as an amnesty by the town board, town supervisor, and local media. To qualify for the amnesty, past due tickets issued January 1, 2005, or later had to be paid by April 30, 2013. The person had to pay the ticket value plus any penalties, but could do so at a 40 percent discount.
- In 2009 Louisiana ran what the state itself called a "tax amnesty", even setting up a "Tax Amnesty Website". The media also referred to it as an amnesty. The program covered past due taxes from 2001 or later. If taxes owed and 50 percent of interest were paid during the two-month amnesty period, the remainder of the interest plus civil penalties were waived.
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