Oh boy, here we go again.
Back on the 16th, I commented about an article Tribuna did on Mayor Boughton's proposal to go after people who drive cars with out of state plates...primarily people with Massachusetts plates. Now, just as he claimed that the noise ordinance wasn't about volleyball games (yeah), Boughton is claiming that going after people who have out-of-state plates is in no way about illegal immigration but rather about "taxes."
...and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
Everyone is Danbury knows that immigrants get around registering cars by going up to Massachusetts and registering the car in that state because the laws in that state more lenient than Connecticut. When you see an car on the streets of Danbury with a Massachusetts plate, there is a VERY GOOD chance that the person behind the wheel is illegal therefore, what better way to track them down than by collecting data on them.
Now, as I stated on the 16th, I think this is a good idea for one reason, if you're an illegal immigrant, you shouldn't be driving around in an illegal, uninsured car. There are too many stories about people being hit by individuals with uninsured cars and it's a problem. The dishonesty comes when (as with the volleyball situation) the Mayor claims that this isn't a crackdown on illegals when there is ever indication to suggest otherwise.
Here's how Tribuna covered the story.
A recent announcement by Mayor Boughton has unleashed a flurry of speculation, suspicion and half-truths - with everyone from news reporters to people in the street talking about the "crackdown on Massachusetts plates."
All we know for certain is that the city intends to make a list of vehicles with out-of state plates that have been parked on local streets for much longer than a weekend visit or a family reunion. What is really going on? Is it about Massachusetts plates? Is it about targeting immigrants? Or is it, as with so many issues today, much more complicated?
Several states have considerably more lenient rules for motor vehicle licensing and registration. For example, just over the line in Massachusetts, one can register a car by presenting proof of ownership and insurance coverage. Some argue that this increases public safety by cutting down on the number of uninsured vehicles on the road. On the other hand, Connecticut has very strict requirements, whether applying for a driver's license or registering a car. At any rate, as the REAL ID Act looms on the horizon - which sets clear and stringent standards for driversâ€™ licenses to be used as identification - all states will need to re-examine their policies to comply with the federal mandate.
As is all too often the case, what should be a relatively minor concern seems to be rapidly growing into a major panic. A local Portuguese-language newspaper described the proposal as "one more measure" taken by the mayor to "make illegal immigrants' lives more difficult." A local Brazilian business owner claims that Main Street's economy is getting so bad because of the â€œcrackdownâ€ on illegal immigrants that many proprietors are closing up shop.
Mayor Boughton said that his stance on this issue has been "lost in translation." For example, while he is well aware of the fact that those without a green card cannot acquire a driver's license or register a car in the state. But, he argued, that does not give people without green cards permission to break the driving laws. "Driving without a license or the proper documents can endanger all residents, regardless of status," Boughton said. "By working together, we can make sure that people can get to the places that they need to be and protect the public safety of all residents. If people are undocumented, they have to look for other means of transportation."
The mayor emphasized that no proposal on this matter will be announced until his State of the City address in December. "The purpose of this â€˜possible initiative' is to generate revenue through unpaid taxes from [cars with] out-of-state license plates. [Mayor] Fabrizi in Bridgeport launched a similar program and found thousands of cars that were not registered in Bridgeport or Connecticut. It cost the city millions of dollars. This is not about immigrants. All people have to obey the law."
Unfortunately, unlike Tribuna, the News-Times seemed to drink Boughton's Kool-Aid and didn't challenge his claim on bit.
Although Connecticut cities and towns raise more than $600 million a year in car taxes, Danbury isn't getting its share.
Without citing any stats, the reporter makes this claim about Danbury not getting it's fair share of taxes in the FIRST GRAPH.
The city wants to hire a firm to scour the city's neighborhoods and businesses, looking for cars that are registered out of state or out of town. A person who owns a car and lives in Connecticut is obliged to register that car at his home address within 60 days.
The city wants to duplicate earlier tax collecting success by Bridgeport, which hired a firm to help it collect the car taxes it is owed.
"The city of Bridgeport found it had 8,610 cars not registered in Bridgeport or Connecticut," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "That was worth $4 million in lost revenue."
Boughton said Danbury is about half the size of Bridgeport, which means Danbury could collect more than $1 million in lost revenue if it finds even half as many cars unregistered or registered out of state.
"We're talking about a lot of money," Boughton said.
Ah, yeah. Think about this for a second.
A person is here illegally and they're going to somehow register their car in Connecticut and/or pay property taxes? IS anyone following this logic?
But there is more...
Boughton said Danbury will do the same thing. He said state law allows Danbury to collect three years of back taxes on cars that were improperly registered -- and that is back taxes plus interest of 18 percent a year on the unpaid balances.
In addition to the owners of private cars, the city is also looking for businesses that are located in Danbury but register their trucks or other corporate vehicles in New York, Pennsylvania, or any another state or town.
"It has everything to do with collecting the city's fair share of taxes," Boughton said.
Not one time did the News-Times ask the obvious, is this a backdoor crackdown on illegals. Again, as EVERYONE IN DANBURY KNOWS, most out-of-state plates are from Massachusetts and are registered by illegals who in turn drive on the roads uninsured. Unlike Tribuna, the News-Times doesn't even feel the need to raise the obvious question...is this another attempt by Mayor Boughton to crackdown on illegals without saying that he's cracking down on illegals (again, remember the volleyball situation).
When is the newspaper getting sold?