Thursday, July 18, 2013

Boston Proud, but with government practices, not so much

    With the number of working and taxpayer in this country dwindling, short time is taken for our government to devise more ways of getting that tax dollar from what I like to call the soon to be working poor.
    Taxes on internet sales is in the works along with more parking meters.
     I spoke years ago about the evasive cameras on stop lights and now people, some people, still not all, are rethinking the surveillance our government has on ALL of use, not just suspected wrongdoers.
    I guess our government felt the time was long overdue (pun intended) for any monies left in a parking meter to be fees paid, regardless of time used at said meter.  Along with the many cameras and IRS surveillance, we are watched on Main Street when you shop or visit the dentist.

Your July 12 article (”Parking bonus vanishing”) describes the city’s expanding practice of installing ground sensors that detect when a vehicle leaves a parking space, in order to reset the meter. The goal is to prevent the next parker from using time paid for by the previous parker.
The financial benefit to the city for this double charging comes at a cost in terms of public cynicism: We see our city treating us primarily as income sources and secondarily as a public to be served fairly and in good faith.
Parking Director Jim Hacker says that the practice of double charging for time is defensible, because “People should be paying for the time that they’re using,” as if the city was being taken advantage of. But when the metered time is paid for, the city should not be concerned with who pays for it. If the city really feels strongly that people should pay for their own time, then in fairness, they should use those smart meters to reimburse credit and debit cards for the balance of time remaining when people leave their spaces.
This is a practice to be ashamed of, not defended.
Duncan Cox


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