Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Car tax

with 5 comments

I’d meant to post about 4th of July in DC today, but due to the creation of the Mega Meal (which will probably also be posted about) I have to postpone that until I have more time to spare.

Instead I’ll present a little piece of Charm City humbug. Despite the title, I do not mean the fact that you have to pay tax when you buy your car (I’m not that much of a liberal). Rather, I refer to a clever scheme by Baltimore City to fill its coffers a bit, without technically increasing taxes.

In a nutshell, there are more cars here than there are parking spots. Thus, whoever is last to the show will have to park in an illegal, or at least pseudo-legal, spot. A good choice is to park next to the last designated spot which, if there isn’t a No Stopping sign, doesn’t usually draw the attention of of the parking demons.

Legal parking?

Since I usually get home at ten or eleven I usually have to make do with these spots, and in fact I’d figured that it was legal, given that I never got tickets. But alas, today my luck turned, and I am due to pay the city of Baltimore $27.

Frankly, it’s bullshit. But there’s nothing you can do about it: you need a car, and you need to put it somewhere. So you just have to pay the tickets from time to time.

Another form of car tax: you need insurance, which in my case is Geico. That’s alright, I signed up and paid for 6 months. The system is based on very high rates, and then various discounts for being a federal employee, a good student etc. Fair enough except for the part where you need to send your papers to get those discounts, and until they receive the papers they unfortunately can’t apply the discount. So they charge you an extra couple of bucks over the quoted rate every day until they get the papers and spend a day or two processing them. Assholes.

Written by Martin

2010/07/05 at 22:00

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. The Geico scheme is indeed unfair I bet some people never get it together to file the papers and that is what they are betting on.
    But $27- in NYC I think it is up to $115-and when you get towed it comes to about $350 We had that privilege
    twice-once when we first came to Brooklyn we thought our car had been stolen-but no…….
    That is one reason we are now without, it is cheaper to rent when we need to.


    2010/07/06 at 10:58

  2. Yeah, in a sense I’m actually looking forward to selling my car and getting a bike instead. Also the fact that the 3 mile drive to work takes nearly half an hour when you include time to park and walk from the parking lot.


    2010/07/06 at 11:03

  3. Another ticket!
    I’ve decided to take it to court, though. I have read the Baltimore City Code, and there’s nothing in there about not parking outside of designated stalls, assuming you comply with other rules.


    2010/07/08 at 16:24

  4. So now I finally know what Geico is. Kanye West made that song Golddigger and sings “she was supposed to buy Geico with your money, instead she got lipo with your money”. Thanks!


    2010/07/22 at 03:29

  5. […] a comment » As I mentioned in a previous post, the Baltimore parking officers like to give you tickets whenever they can, even if you’re […]

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