The City of Columbus is desperate for revenue

It’s not enough that the City of Columbus wants to raise taxes, implement a monthly fee for trash pickup (which is supposed to be included in our taxes), and generally nickle and dime the Central Ohio natives, but yesterday it became personally clear to me just how desperate the city is for revenue.

I had a meeting downtown with a client and made sure that I had enough change to feed the meter in front of their building for over an hour.  I fed the meter (it ate two of my dimes, but that’s not why I’m incensed) and went on my merry way to my appointment.  A vendor who met me there asked me if I had change for a dollar because he didn’t have any change on him.  Unfortunately, I had just fed the meter my last few jingles and had none to spare.  He shrugged and pretty much accepted the fact that he would receive a ticket since neither one of us had a dime to spare between us; it was a rental car and he could easily get his company to cover any tickets incurred while traveling in Columbus.

The meeting went better than expected and we were out of there just a smidge over an hour after we entered.  I walk out of the lobby into the beautiful weather and immediately noticed an orange ticket lodged under my windshield wiper flapping in the breeze.  My first assumption was, “How the hell did I get a parking ticket!?”  My second question was, “Why doesn’t Bill’s car have one!?” Yes, I got hit by the parking Nazis but Bill’s rental car was unblemished by orange.  I stomped over to the Explorer, plucked the ticket from underneath the wiper and read the details.  It wasn’t a parking ticket.

It was a ticket for failing to display my car registration sticker while parked in a city meter.  I have a Pittsburgh Steelers license plate cover that prohibited the meter reader from seeing when my tags expire.  Since he / she couldn’t read it, I was technically ‘unregistered’ and got hit with a $45 fine.  If you think I was pissed about getting whacked for a $15 parking fine, I was morally OUTRAGED over this fine technical detail.  Bill was extremely amused as I ranted and raved.  I think it was his favorite part of the trip.

Will I fight it?  Most likely not.  It will be easier to just write the city a check for $45 and be done with it.  I’m having Ben move the license plate cover to the FRONT of the Explorer this weekend though so the view of my tags are never obstructed again. 

I have a suspicion that the meter reader was a Browns fan… sneaky bastards can’t win any other way.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DarcKnyt
    Mar 23, 2009 @ 18:15:54

    Wouldn’t surprise me about the Browns fan thing. Not a bit. 🙂

    Q: What’s the difference between Cleveland and Pittsburgh?
    A: About 90 miles and 6 Super Bowl rings

    THAT’S what they’re so bitter and twisted about. They just chose to take out their misplaced aggression on me.


  2. DarcsFalcon
    Mar 24, 2009 @ 03:05:27

    I’d fight it. You have proof you were registered, and the plate cover is – I assume – designed to be legal. I mean, the NFL can’t sell it if it’s illegal, right? Or maybe it’s a conspiracy by the state of OH to make license plates that won’t work with Steelers plate decorations. Maybe.

    Different requirements for different states. It’s probably on the car’s owner to determine what’s ‘legal’ for their state. In PA you don’t have to have tags on the front of your car, just the back, but in Ohio you have to display front and back. I’m moving the license plate cover to the front just to make sure.


  3. Claire
    Mar 24, 2009 @ 08:33:09

    Bummer, but Jeremy also got a $45 ticket for not having his front plate on a few weeks ago. Since we didn’t have them in PA, we had to buy mounting plates for both vehicles to fix the problem…but it does seem pretty pathetic that they are knit-picking over the little stuff like that instead of PARKING tickets!

    No kidding. I was mad about it, too. Did the BMV tell you about needing to have the front plate on when you transferred your registration in from out of state? Ohio is so stupid when it comes to that stuff.


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