The amount of government overreach in America is reaching epidemic proportions. It’s gotten to the point where it almost seems that Soviet-era Russia had more freedom in some areas than we do in the U.S. in those same areas. One of those weird areas is… stacking firewood.
Yes, apparently, how you stack your firewood may violate local ordinances and cause you to be fined. As crazy as this sounds, it’s really happening. An article at offthegridnews.com gives us details of one such incident:
The city of Doraville, Georgia, issued a warrant for Jeff Thornton’s arrest and fined him $1,000. Thornton’s “crime”? He stacked his firewood the wrong way in his backyard.
Thornton eventually went to court and pleaded the fine down to $300. Nevertheless, they still placed him on probation for 12 months, as the Institute for Justice (IOJ) reported. Furthermore, Thornton was one of many Doraville residents that the city hit with fines in their “policing for profit” scheme, the IOJ alleged.
Doraville code requires firewood to be neatly stacked in four by eight piles. In addition, any deviation can lead to a ticket and a fine. The municipality cited Thornton, but he did not realize he had violated the code until the city issued an arrest warrant for him.
Now, as ridiculous as this whole situation sounds (and it is), realize a couple of things here: 1. Doraville is a town in the metro-Atlanta area. Frankly, most people driving through Doraville wouldn’t know that they weren’t in Atlanta proper as only the signs telling you that you are in Doraville would make that clear. So this is a busy area with lots of people and lots of traffic. For government bureaucrats this means lots of opportunity for income.
Which brings us to point # 2: Doraville collected $3.4 million in fines in the twelve month period from August 2016 to August 2017. The IOJ figures that these fines fund between 1/5 to 1/3 of the city’s budget for a year.
Now, keep in mind, this isn’t taxation by the normal methods. These types of ordinances that generate income through fines are often passed by city councils and county governments without any knowledge of the people until the people are slapped with a fine.
This is taxation without representation at its “finest,” and the City of Doraville should be ashamed of themselves.
The question that you need to ask yourself, though, is: Does my local government have a bunch of ordinances to use to extort money from me, and how do I keep from being taken by this kind of “legal” theft?