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Jul 17 2021

$100,000 Ticket for Parking on Her Own Property

Petty tyranny doesn’t come cheap, as Sandy Martinez of Lantana, Florida learned when she received a parking fine of over $100,000 for parking on her on property in such a way that the tires touched grass. Combined with other outrageous fines, the town figures she owes it $165,000.

Institute for Justice sums up the case:

The $165,000 that Sandy owes is a result of daily fines that the city assessed for property code violations. Most of this amount is a result of the way Sandy’s family parks their cars. Sandy, her two adult children and her sister all own cars so that they can get to their jobs. When all four cars are parked in the driveway, sometimes one of them has two tires on the lawn, a $250 per day violation. And those fines continue to accrue until the homeowner corrects the problem and calls the city to inspect the property to confirm it is in compliance.

This arrangement does not provide an incentive for bureaucrats to inspect promptly.

After receiving the parking violation, Sandy called the town like she was supposed to, but an inspector never came out. Once Sandy discovered that the fines were still accruing over a year later, she immediately called and passed the inspection. But by then, the amount she owed was $101,750. This fine is on top of fines for two other similarly trivial violations—for cracks in the driveway and a fence that fell over during a storm.

She is not rich, and will probably be financially ruined if she does not prevail in court.

Foundation for Economic Education observes that this story is…

…yet another reminder that while big government advocates insist the state will uplift the struggling, the actual implementation of its power often hurts those who can least afford it.

On the other side, environmentalists will be heartened to see Big Government sticking up for oppressed grass.

On a tip from ABC of the ANC.


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