Plucked Is Plucked, Even If It's One Feather At A Time
A month and a half ago, I wrote about the legalized scam currently being operated by the City of Milwaukee.
Based on a new ordinance, the City has begun issuing $50 tickets to any auto parked on a city street that doesn't have a current renewal sticker displayed on the rear license plate. These vehicles are also subject to being towed - which will cost the owner over $150.
Prior to parking checkers writing a ticket, the technology available to them tells them whether or not the vehicle is properly registered. Therefore, even though they know that the vehicle's registration is current, they are still writing tickets because the sticker is gone.
Typically, the reason the sticker is gone is because somebody (not the owner) has stolen it. My guess is that most of these thefts have occurred while the car is parked on the very same streets of Milwaukee where law-abiding citizens are now receiving tickets. I also suspect that most people are completely unaware that their sticker has been stolen. After all, when's the last time you looked closely at your rear license plate?
As you might expect, people are unhappy with the City's latest scheme to generate revenue. Unfortunately, most simply pay the tickets instead of taking a day off of work to fight them in Municipal Court. Even so, a staggeringly high percentage of these tickets are being dismissed - showing that folks aren't taking this lying down.
Faced with a minor revolt, the City is considering lowering the fine from $50 to $15. I appreciate the sentiment but - well - shafted is shafted. You can't be a little pregnant.
If you are a victim of a crime (like having your license sticker stolen), why should you have to pay anything? Frankly, it makes no sense to be issuing tickets to cars that you know are properly registered inthe first place. At the very least, people should get a warning and some time to cure the problem before they have to pay.
A $15 fine is better than a $50 fine - but being plucked is still being plucked. Even if it's one feather at a time.