I caught the tail end of a Friday afternoon radio broadcast whereby some state representative warned the general public that the legislature planned to enact a tax which would be levied on citizens when they parked their OWN car in their OWN garage or driveway. Nope, I'm not talking about the 50% parking tax on Downtown garages. I'm talking about taxing you and me when we park our own cars at our own homes at the end of the day.
Not believing my own ears, I sent this email to every representative (both D and R) in Allegheny County on Friday night:
"I heard something on the radio news that I cannot believe. Please, tell me this is not true. And if it is true, please tell me that each of you .... to a man ..... is as horrified as I am and intend to have NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THIS CRAZY NEW TAX.
Since our state plan seems to be one of taxing us into prosperity .... the media reports that there are 22 "new taxes" under consideration so as to "balance" our new budget. Is one of these new taxes a parking tax so broadly defined that it can be levied on a citizen parking their own car in their own garage????? Not a parking garage downtown or wherever. But actually being taxed, ON TOP OF THEIR PROPERTY TAX, when they drive home from work and are foolish enough to park their own car in their own garage.
I hope there are howls of laughter on your end of this email. I hope this is some wacky urban legend that hurricaned its way unchecked through today's news cycle. I hope there is not SHRED nor a KERNEL of truth to this disgusting rumor.
Trusting that even our state legislature cannot be this insane, please set me straight on what the real provisions of this proposed tax are.
Assuming in advance that you have not all lost your minds....."
It is now midnight on Sunday and I've received just two replies to my email. From Rep. Mark Mustio:
"I believe that can be the interpretation of the Democrat's bill. I am going to fight that wording and the tax. Sincerely, Mark
T. Mark Mustio 44th Legislative District District Phone 412-262-3780 Harrisburg Phone 717-787-6651"
From Rep. John Maher:
"I am afraid that you have heard correctly. The McCall amendment seeks to add a "parking space" "surcharge" that he confirmed in public during House debate Thursday night not only could apply to spaces at private homes but worse could be UNLIMITED in amount........The new amendment that McCall refiled since then with some "corrections" has the same unlimited tax - ur, "surcharge" that counties AND municipalities could each impose on parking in your own driveway or garage. Unreal!You are the only person I have heard from in opposition so far. The debate is scheduled to resume Monday morning at 10 am with a vote expected later in the morning..... sound the alarm!"
I guess it is in fact time to storm the Bastille ....