New York A-Rated Eateries Won't Pay Fines .

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Restaurant owners can relax: Those whose establishments earn an A grade at their first or second inspection under the city’s letter grading system will no longer pay fines.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the change in his State of the City speech Wednesday, eliciting instant praise from the restaurant industry, which has complained about what it viewed as excessive fines.

“The cost of fines cuts into the tight profit margins that small businesses run,” said Mr. Bloomberg during his speech. “So from now on, we will add a new incentive: any restaurant that earns an ‘A’—either on its initial inspection or on a re-inspection—will not have to pay one penny in fines for any violations found on that inspection. Not one penny.”

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