(Chuck Muth) – With complete control of the Nevada Legislature again this session, Democrats have already introduced some pretty stupid bills – such as setting up polling stations in prisons.Which brings me to Assembly Bill 303, introduced this week by the Growth and Infrastructure Committee – which was formerly called the Transportation Committee before the left’s “word warriors” got hold of it. Here’s the deal… Let’s say you own an apartment complex or an office park or even a vacant lot. And on your property you have signs saying parking is restricted to only residents or customers – and that any “unauthorized parking” will result in the car being towed. And let’s say someone ignores your sign and parks there anyway. Maybe even in a handicapped spot or in front of a fire hydrant. You call a tow company. The tow company hooks up the car and tows it to a storage yard. And the illegal parker/trespasser can’t get it back until they pay the towing and storage fees they owe. Now, existing law says the tow company “shall not charge any fee or cost for the storage of the motor vehicle until at least 48 hours after the motor vehicle arrives and is registered at the place of storage.” I guess that’s because, even if they wanted to, the illegal parker can’t pick up their car on weekends if the storage lot’s not open. So it kinda makes sense. But according to the language of AB303, the word “storage” is replaced by the word “towing,” which now would include, “without limitation, any fee or cost for the removal…of the motor vehicle, until at least 48 hours after the motor vehicle arrives…” This, of course, makes no sense whatsoever. Does this mean the illegal parker won’t have to pay the towing fee if they show up before the 48-hour deadline? Or that the tow company can’t collect the towing fee until after 48 hours has expired? Confusing language. And if it means the tow company can’t get paid for the tow if you show up within 48 hours, how many tow companies – which have to pay for the tow truck, maintenance, insurance, fuel and the driver – are going to continue providing this service if there’s a good chance they won’t be paid for it? But wait. It gets worse… Existing law says the owner of an illegally parked car that’s been towed only has to pay a nominal “hardship tariff” if he or she, “for reasons outside of his or her control, is incapable of paying the normal rate charged for the removal and storage of the motor vehicle.” Now we get to the really outrageous, as opposed to merely stupid, part: What qualifies an illegal parker as being “incapable of paying”? Get a load of this…
- If you’re receiving any federal or state benefits or public assistance – such as welfare, food stamps, or ObamaCare
- If you have a household income that’s less than 200% above the federally-designated poverty level
- If you live in taxpayer-funded public housing
- And the kicker: If you have “expenses for the necessities of life” that exceed your income
What’s the definition of “necessities of life”? A cell phone? HBO/Cinemax? Dinner at Applebee’s? A $200 pair of Air Jordans?Regardless, this is insane. If you work for a living; pay your own rent or mortgage; pay for your own groceries; and pay for your own health insurance – you have to pay the full cost of having your illegally-parked car towed and stored. But if you’re living off taxpayers, don’t worry. You won’t have to pay the piper, other than a token “hardship tariff.” Of course, there’s a simple way for “poor” people to avoid all of this: DON’T PARK ILLEGALLY on someone else’s private property! Bad actions are SUPPOSED to have consequences. Indeed, they will for the tow companies. If they violate this new law, if passed, they’ll get hit with penalties and open themselves up to being sued by the illegal parker “to recover any costs incurred.” So let’s say a property manager calls to have a car that’s illegally parked towed off their lot. How the hell is the tow company supposed to know if the owner of the car is living off welfare, getting food stamps, or living in public housing. More absurdly, how is the tow company supposed to know what the vehicle owner’s household income is or if their “expenses for the necessities of life” exceed their income? And since it’s impossible to know those things, what tow company is going to tow a vehicle off private property knowing there’s not only a good chance they won’t get paid, but could get sued to boot?!! I don’t know which pudd’nhead on the Committee Formerly Known as Transportation came up with this hare-brained bill, but you can bet it’s a Democrat. And there’s certainly more dumb to come. Something tells me Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo might well break former Gov. Jim Gibbons’ all-time veto record. FAMOUS LAST WORDS “State Sen. Dina Neal, a Democrat, is proposing a law to pay inmates minimum wage. I’m already paying for housing, meals and health care. These inmates are in there because they broke the law. Enough is enough. I do not wish to pay anymore for those criminals.” – Mary Aquino, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 3/17/23 Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.