Friday, February 13, 2004

Just venting


Hey Kari:

I'll be sure to have another item in accord with our new all-animal-all-the-time blog format at some point. 8-)

For today, a short rant.

You are probably familiar with the Beatles and their song Taxman. Here are some lyrics from that song:
Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet
As you know, my political inclinations are center-right with some libertarian influences sprinkled in. So as a general rule, I think taxation should be simpler and merely to raise revenue for essential services and less as tools of social engineering.

This post won't be a high-minded discussion on what the percentage of taxation should be relative to the GDP nor which types of taxation are most fair (income, sales, capitial gains, etc.). Though of course as the policy wonk of this blog, you are free to take a swing at it.

Instead, I simply ask, Kari, if you were mayor of Kariville, how much should parking tickets be? And in the scope of local government operations, how aggressive should this be relative to all the other problems a typical big city faces?

I live in Los Angeles where parking ticket enforcement is shall we say... vigorous. I have personally received a few tickets issued about 7-10 minutes past the stated time on the sign on the street. Cost of ticket: $45 or $65 depending on the location. I've gotten a ticket or two when my car was encroaching on the red zone. Cost of ticket: $45 or $65 again depending on location. It is only mid-February and I've "contributed" $130 to the city coffers this year.

Now, technically speaking, I am in violation of the law in each of the above cases so at that level I don't have too much right to complain. Yet, I get a little upset with the daily ritual of watching parking enforcement issue tickets on my street in the morning and in the evening. They slip those dreaded little things under the windshield wipers by the dozens. Imagine that going on all day throughout the city. I wonder how much revenue they raise doing this?

Anyway, just had to vent.

Take care and be well,
Rene

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