[Reprinted from an undated pamphlet, Simple Talks
on Taxation, published by the author]
... Did I see you put two dimes in
Twenty cents an hour.
... Twenty cents! Why everywhere
else it's only a dime.
else except on these two blocks on Mainway Avenue and the first
five parking places on each side of each side street.
... But, how come?
... Old man
Sterling. In the early days of cars, he filed an application for
a "park fee area" franchise. There was no competition.
He told the supervisors it would "liquefy" - I
remember he said it would "liquefy" traffic."
Keep it moving. Supervisor Collins laughed-all the Board thought
he was crazy, so they said "Sure!" Someone said it
oughtn't be for more than fifty years. That got another laugh!
So they made it fifty years and Grady said it would look more
legal if there was a fee, a license fee, so they tacked on a
twenty dollar per annum license fee.
... That's all he pays?
didn't pay that for the first three years. He got them to give
him three years to get started.
... So how come he gets twenty
there was no figure mentioned in the franchise.
... Well, I think that's a damn
likes it much. Except old Sterling.
... Don't die merchants
But what can they do?
... Can't they sue to have the
It's a "vested interest" now. Sterling claims it would
... Isn't he confiscating that
most folks don't see it that way. Besides, he's got a man, name
of Withers, on the Board of Supervisors now, and he pretty near
runs the Merchants Association.
... So they're not doing anything?
storekeepers on the franchise area? No. But Wiithers is. He says
he's just waked up to the possibilities and he's started on a
plan to license parking franchises, all over town, to private
... On a percentage basis, I hope.
sure. The town will get Ten per cent, but will subsidise any
franchise holder who is losing money.
because the franchises, like Taxi licenses, will get so
valuable, people'll pay thousands of dollars for 'em. Then they
might lose money on their investment, so the city'll make it up.
... An' the City on'y gets ten per
Withers says "let's be consistent."
... Meaning what?
... Why, he
says "why not have the same policy on each side of the
sidewalk"? So he's talking about making the franchises "in
perpetuum," like the land titles across the sidewalk.
... If Withers calls that "waking
up" he should-a stood in bed. It'll be hell on the public!
s'pose it might be tough.
... Right now, look at you and
your twenty cents. Why don't all you fellers park outside old
Sterling's franchise? He'd soon have to come down!
... And we
walk, maybe six blocks! Are you crazy?
... It would seem so.