Sunday, November 29, 2009

Working hard?

Working hard? Unlike municipalities, you may be thinking about living within some quotient of accounts recieveable. All businesses must think about balancing what is earned against what is spent on costs. Yet value extraction is a threat to business. Now, witness value extraction as Hispanic family taxi businesses in Suffolk county are fined by Nassau officials for operating ground transportation services across Suffolk County lines. These legitimate businesses maintain Suffolk County Brick and Mortar so as to receive legal service, they consequently pay Suffolk County property taxes under commercial property zoning regulations in Suffolk County. Are Nassau County Operators required to conform to Suffolk County Taxi Regulations? Interstate truckers have always been aware that there is an apportioned road tax that heavy commercial vehicles must pay, assessed through the amount of fuel burned over distance traveled in a given state while hauling goods. This tax ostensibly helps pay for damage on principal highways where these heavy trucks operate. Such businesses are also taxed corporately at state and federal levels. Taxis are not heavy commercial vehicles however. Taxis use parkways where traffic and time permits. Some years ago Nassau County taxi cabs were impounded for operating ground conveyance without NYC medallions in New York City limits (namely Laguardia and JFK airports). When this occurred the blindsided Nassau County operators (who maintained Brick and Mortar for legal service in Nassau County) sought a legal remedy in the courts. Because of the monetary damage incurred (fines and impoundings in NYC) by these Nassau Operators (NOs) at that time a stop gap method of transporting inter county fares (customers) was devised. NOs stopped the impounding and fining of their inter-county commerce by operating D.O.T. Regulated heavy vans across county lines where the borders were Nassau County and New York City. The New York City TLC or taxi and limousine commission was forced to leave those intrastate operated vans alone as they are regulated by the New York State Department of Transportation. Ultimately, an agreement was hammered out in which NYC taxis doing business in Nassau County are required to buy a Nassau County sticker showing they have paid Nassau County tax. Failure to display a current sticker will get the NYC taxi or limo fined and impounded should they be found doing business in Nassau County without a sticker. Having their own medallion is as far as Nassau County Operators have to go, provided drivers maintain a trip sheet of all assigned work (including NYC pick ups and drop offs.) Additionally, Nassau County operators are forbidden to pick up flags (hails from the side walk) when operating in NYC. Nassau County also has no soliciting laws to stop harassment of patrons in it's own communities. If you are licensed to pick up in a specific area this rule is waivered. Now, the largely Hispanic Suffolk operators face a similar application of Nassau County enforcement. As a patron of the largely Hispanic taxi operators in both Suffolk County and Nassau County, such bureaucratic inter-county Municipal tax requirements between non-New York City jurisdictions seems arbitrary, misplaced and somewhat less than congenial. Nassau TLC now impounds and fines operators licensed in counties (Suffolk) other than it's own for both pick ups and drop offs. While such conduct may pass the corporate municipal sniff test, it illustrates how corporations and municipalities manipulate citizens prerogatives and the larger legal question of jurisdiction over the citizens right to travel and the workers right to contract so as to fulfill this right under corporate rather than Constitutional jurisdiction. Do corporations have a conflict of interest with the Constitution where citizens rights to travel are concerned? It seems the municipalities do.

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