A small St. Louis suburb has agreed to stop trying bankroll its government with a vicious regime of petty fines so excessive that the town has cited more than a third of its population.
Credit goes to the Institute for Justice, which sued the tiny town of Pagedale (population: 3,300) on behalf of a handful of residents in 2015. Amid the outrage over Michael Brown’s death in nearby Ferguson, citizens of these small fiefdoms drew attention to these governments’ propensity to bankroll themselves via exorbitant traffic and code enforcement fines.
Pagedale was one of those communities. In the course of a single year, it handed out 2,000 code enforcement citations—almost twice the number of actual households in the city. It tossed out tickets like confetti for a host of really absurd codes, which banned everything from mismatched curtains to holes in window screens to having your pants below your waist to having a barbecue grill or basketball hoop in your front yard to walking on the left side of a crosswalk.
Read the rest at Reason.com.
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