Monday, November 27, 2006

Courtesy

Liisa always jokes with me that Canadians (ie, me) are too polite. Most of the time she's wrong, it's just that everyone else is rude but the other day I got a nice example of our excessive politeness. I parked the car in a city parking lot and figured that I'd only be 5 minutes so I didn't bother paying the minimum 75 cent fee for 30 minutes of parking. I ended up being gone closer to 15 minutes and as I came back I saw the parking enforcement officer putting a ticket on my car. Well, I thought it was a ticket but it turns out that Toronto still use "courtesy charges".

What's a courtesy charge? Essentially it's a fine that I can choose either to pay or just ignore depending on how honest I am. It's an $8 "fine", apparently if you get too many of them in a row they will give you a real ticket that you have to pay but I've never heard of that happening. Now, with Toronto's continuous lack of money to balance our budget you'd think that the city would do away with these fake fines and actually ticket people who don't pay for parking, but who knows, maybe we're all so polite that we pay the courtesy charges.

P.S. - I politely decline to tell you if I paid. ;-)

5 Comments:

Anonymous Kaisa said...

Muig, nice charges you've got there... it's close to Finnish laws, that when a person dies, all the other relatives have to pay taxes for the things this person leaves behind... :P

3:15 PM  
Blogger Andres Sehr said...

Kaisa,

I think what you're referring to is an estate tax, or as the U.S. republicans call it the "Death Tax". It's a fairly common around the world that you pay tax on property/goods/etc that are left behind when someones died. I don't think it's optional anywhere like my fine. :-)

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

In Australia, many local governments use parking fines as a significant revenue stream of millions of dollars, in some cases representing up to 15-20% of a councils annual budget, I kid you not.

7:50 PM  
Blogger peterelli said...

I just received 2 courtesy charges for my boat and trailer at the scarborough bluffs. $10 each. What happens if I don't pay them?

9:49 PM  
Blogger Andres Sehr said...

If you don't pay nothing happens, however, you may get a ticket next time if you collect too many of them.

4:23 AM  

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