Friday, April 18, 2008

Minneapolis Towing Horror Stories: A Regressive Tax On The Poor

Humphrey Institute Student Robyn Skrebes (pictured above at an activist event to fight child abduction in Sudan) describes her own experiences and says why non-consent towing is a regressive tax on the poor...

This is a topic that really gets me!

I have to say that I love the fact the street sweeping website says "listed residential numbers will be called." Funny how this leaves out almost all of the poor college students who only have cell phones, along with a good portion of the rest of the city.

I no longer have a car, and this makes me remember at least one good reason for that, but I was also a "serial towee" for a couple of years. Starting three days after I moved to the Twin Cities I made the unforgivable and novice mistake of parking in a lot while I went somewhere else.

[Matt Henry says they're up in a tree with binoculars to tow at the McDonalds in Dinkytown. Who can go up against THAT?]

I was towed at least six times over the three years that followed. The reasons ranged from parking too close to the sidewalk to snow warnings to street sweeping. Incidentally, that time some thoughtful person had taken the liberty of removing the signs that warned of towing. I think they did it to "stick it to the man."

This did not stop them from confiscating my car.

[Robyn, it was probably a tow truck driver. Read the stuff in my blog about how they've even been known to paint curbs red on their own. I even wrote a little song about it]

Anyone can see the "tow tax" is a regressive tax on the poor. I mean, if you have money you can probably have a driveway or a garage in which to park safely. Wouldn't it be great if we dropped this idea that we should pay less in taxes so our state could afford to keep up without taking more from the people who can least manage it?

[Only a Humphrey Student would come up with this...the rest of the country spends its energy figuring out how to AVOID taxes. Besides, it's the CITY doing this, not the state, and the city seriously claims they LOSE MONEY from towing.]

Thanks for taking these stories. I think this is a serious problem. Good luck with your blog!

[Towing Utopia never rests...refer your friends here when they get towed and keep figuring out what are the systemic flaws with towing in Minneapolis-St. Paul]

[I will mention in closing that Robyn is a wonderful person who cares about human rights. Check out this website]

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