Friday, April 18, 2008

Parking Tix = Hidden Tax

Why does everything cost so much more in Manhattan than on Staten Island? Or any of the other three outer boroughs of NYC, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn.

Of course, there are many factors that go into the final retail price. Rent, labor, tolls, taxes, advertising, & etc. But I want to, using one specific consumer item, guess-timate how much parking tickets, as a cost of doing business in Manhattan, adds to the cost of that consumer item. In Manhattan.

I have selected the ubiquitous plastic bottle of Coke. The price where I am in Manhattan is $1.50 for a 20 oz. bottle of Coke. Sold by vending machines where I work my day job. Of course, the price may be higher or lower where you are in Manhattan.

For example, how much more does it cost in Manhattan vs. Staten Island?

On Staten Island, one of the Super Stop and Shops is running a special this week on six-packs of 16.9 oz. Coke bottles. Buy 3 six-packs for $9. Which translates into 50 cents per bottle. A huge savings for Staten Island shoppers. 50 cents per 16.9 oz. Coke on S.I. vs. $1.50 per 20 oz. Coke in Manhattan.

So, for $1.50 on S.I., you can get three 16.9 oz. Cokes. For $1.50 in Manhattan, you get a 20 oz. Coke.

Can you imagine how much more it would be with Mayor Mike's stupid conge$t tax? $1.75 or $2 for a 20 oz. Coke. Maybe more depending on where you are in Manhattan.

With numbers two Coke delivery truck drivers gave me, lets do some calculating.

But, please, note that I am here doing mostly guess-timates. I am not claiming my numbers are definitive in any way. I may be short or over by several cents. Please, take my guess-timates with a grain of salt. Thank you.

Let us assume that one Coke delivery truck in one day, making deliveries in Manhattan, is issued 3 double-parking tickets. One double-parking ticket costs $115.

So, that's $115 x 3 = $345/Coke truck/day. For each Coke truck, each day on average, it collects $345 worth of parking tickets.

How much does that work out for each 20 oz. Coke bottle? One Coke delivery truck delivers on average 60 cases in one day in Manhattan.

One case = 24 bottles of 20 oz. Coke. So, 1 Coke truck x 60 cases x 24 bottles = 1,440 bottles.

Now, lets divide the total of the tickets collected by one Coke truck by the total number of Coke bottles that it delivered in the same day it collected its tickets.

Tickets $345 / Bottles 1,440 = 24 cents/bottle/day. So, for each 20 oz. Coke bottle, it's share of the tickets is 24 cents.

But. Of your $1.50 for that 20 oz. Coke you bought in Manhattan, 24 cents does not go toward paying parking tickets. In reality, about a nickel (5 cents) out of the $1.50 goes to pay off parking tickets.

One of the two Coke delivery truck drivers I had talked to said that last year the company's trucks were issued $2.2 million total in parking tickets. However, the company has a full-time parking ticket fighter who goes to court and fights and fights and fights. As a result, $2.2 million was reduced to $500,000 in actual fines paid.

So, you're paying for their full-time tix fighter and their reduced fines. $500,000 + full-time salary = $550,000 maybe. Which roughly translates into a nickel a Coke bottle.

Of course, for you, a nickel a bottle isn't a lot of money. However. If you add up all the products and services you consume in Manhattan, then all those nickels and dimes add up to maybe $50 or up to a $100 per year. Staying in the conservative ballpark.

That's a hidden tax you pay to play in Manhattan. For the other four boroughs, your hidden tax is smaller. Of course. Maybe $25 or up to $50 a year. Staying in the conservative ballpark.

$25 a year or up to $100

If we look at that nickel per Coke bottle from the delivery truck drivers point of view. Then the parking tickets are a big deal. Because the company used the expense of all the parking tickets as a reason to limit their wage increase in their last contract.

One of the Coke delivery guys I talked told me that last year their parking tickets totaled $2 million. Which their full-time parking ticket fighter reduced to $500,000 last year.

As a result of all the parking tickets the company had to fight and the reduced tix it ended up paying, the Coke delivery guys' pay increase was a tiny 1.1% in their last contract negotiations.

Their current contract, the Coke delivery guys are not happy campers, to say the least.

What I find really disturbing is the "We can't do anything about it" attitude that one of the Coke delivery guys espoused. That made me really sad. The NYC Dept. of Fraud and their thugs essentially stole their pay raise. And, while the Coke delivery guys were, of course, angry about it, they felt helpless to do anything about it.

I thought I lived in America. What happened to life, liberty, and the American way?

1 comment:

Statens Island said...

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