Decal Wars: C’ville vs. VA Beach

Virginia Beach is one of very few municipalities in Virginia that does not require tax decals on the windshields of cars (along with Abingdon and York County), and their commissioner of revenue, Phil Kellam (D), is a getting a little irritated with Our Fair City for the police’s habit of ticketing visiting Virginia Beachers for their lack of a tax decal. Kellam wants the city to find some method of preventing his city’s residents from getting tickets; he did, after all, get elected to office on the strength of eliminating the dreaded stickers. Charlottesville is reluctantly looking into how to comply with Kellam’s request, but with Councilor Rob Schilling saying that he’s “not sure that it’s up to us to solve that problem for them,” it may be time to take this outside. John Yellig has the story in today’s Progress.

19 thoughts on “Decal Wars: C’ville vs. VA Beach”

  1. Not to comment directly on this municipal tiff, but I am surprised local cops (County and City) don`t have on- board computers in their vehicles.

    I hope it is the fault of something other than funds , as I think it should take priority over some other local projects.

    Not "World Class".

  2. I think the real question here is why do our local officials not adopt the same program here? Seems like a far more user-friendly approach to collecting that "use tax" to allow you to legally own a car. Seems like it would save much in the way of collecting the fee, printing and distributing the stickers, and enforcement.

    I can imagine some in City Hall and the County Office Building may cringe at the prospect of losing those ticket revenues, but is the goal to write tickets or have the citzenry pay their fees?

  3. I couldn’t agree more. I guess I should disclose that I’m acquainted with Phil Kellam, and having talked with him for a while about this program shortly after it was first implemented, I have to say that it sounds solid. And, of course, it’s way, way easier than this whole sticker thing.

  4. I just went to the Blacksburg police department, but that wasn’t particularly helpful. The nice woman at the counter explained that everybody in Blacksburg — whether or not they’re a student, no matter where they live — must have a Blacksburg sticker, and is ticketed if they don’t have one. I explained that this was both wrong and implausible, but she held fast. Moving on to a separate, unrelated question, she explained that criminal records are completely private, and that I had no business inquiring into somebody’s record.

    So…uh…not so useful.

  5. I’ve been thinking about this for the past couple of days, and here’s the part that bugs me: this is a state issue. When the state decided to make this new program available, such that municipalities could opt out of the use of stickers, they seem to have failed to consider the enforcement mechanism already in place and the difficulty of dealing with vehicles that lack a decal.

    I’d like to know if this problem was envisioned at the time that the state modified sticker standards, and if any guidelines for dealing with it were developed. I’d also like to get the attorney general involved, as I think is wise any time that you have one municipality making legal threats against another.

    We’re in over our heads in this matter. Virginia Beach is right to be upset, and Charlottesville is right to be annoyed — let’s have the state work it out.

  6. Councilor Rob Schilling is an idiot. His ordinances and resulting tickets are creating the problem, *not* others. You can’t demand that everybody submit to some esoteric local ordinance unless you require and inform about it upon entry. And even that, I’m not sure that’s reasonable. I don’t see signs to that effect on I-64, Route-29, Route 250 or any other road for that matter. Rob Schilling is obviously an idiot.

  7. After reading the cvilleindy page, I conclude they’re ALL idiots. Maybe brown is a little less of an idiot, but idiots they are. How can it be they are authorizing a status quo on a situation that is simply illogical and unfair? And why are they focusing on just the parents of UVA kids? What’s that got to do with anything? What, if you are white or black, the 2 dominant populations, then you can go freely. BUT, if you are Brazilian or Moroccan, THEN you may get ticketed. INSANE! THIS COUNTRY HAS BECOME INSANE! I’ll say, furthermore, that the USA is probably the least free (as in a police state) than any advanced nation on the planet today!

  8. Hey, who needs to run for Council? I could just buy or cajole my way into the damn office. You know, like the Bushies or Kerkorian. Then, I’d chew their heads off. Cannibal Nation, what’s the biffdiff?

  9. You can’t demand that everybody submit to some esoteric local ordinance unless you require and inform about it upon entry.

    This is wrong in so many ways.

    Firstly, decals are the standard in the state, not the exception. They’re about as esoteric as, say, license plates. (“What? You mean I have to have a license plate? Why, those kooky Charlottesville laws…”)

    Secondly, of course you can demand that everybody submit to “some esoteric local ordinance” — ignorance of the law is no excuse. Our laws are available not just at the library, but also on-line. They’re no secret.

    Thirdly, Virginia is a Dillon Rule state — no locality has the power to pass any ordinance without explicit permission from Richmond. Consequently, there’s simply so such thing as an “esoteric local ordinance.”



    That means also and foremost freedom of movement, unhindered by local constituencies’ tax and revenue schemes!

    America is now a police state! But how does this explain the decadent Zulu Rap-Boxes blasting through every one of our roads? Repeat after me: CONSUMPTION. You have to buy, install and maintain those ambulant disco centers? And guess what these are installed in? AUTOMOBILES. The big 3 have already changed – for the worse – our landscape everywhere.


    [yes, this is completely relevant, if you care to try to think]

  11. You really believe what you say, don’t you?

    <i>Consequently, there’s simply so such thing as an "esoteric local ordinance."</i>

    It’s not what is written, young man, it’s what is done that counts. By your assertions, racism doesn’t exist!?! Virginia doesn’t condon it, so it does not exist.

    I DON’T CARE WHAT THE LAW SAYS. Anyone with any brain knows that laws only apply for those that can wield their powers. If you’re an unsuspecting resident from Va Beach, checking out what our "World Class" city has to offer, parks his car in an approved parking space and comes back to find a ticket for illegal parking, that is real world exploitation. There is NO EXCUSE for ANY government to behave like that. Whether they have portable electronic gizmos or not.

    IF A LAW CANNOT BE APPLIED IN A FAIR AND EQUITABLE FASHION, THAT LAW IS A MISCREANT AND MUST BE STRUCK DOWN. Our city officials justed turned their heads with cowardice to a situation that was called to their attention. IDIOTS. COWARDS. THAT’S ALL SHE WROTE FOLKS.

  12. It’s not what is written, young man, it’s what is done that counts. By your assertions, racism doesn’t exist!?! Virginia doesn’t condon it, so it does not exist.

    Erm. OK.

    I’m just going to walk. Away. Slowly.

  13. This is why the nation is so polarized. This is why people don’t vote. This is why…

    …you fill in the blanks. The bottom line? We’re not talking WITH each other, we’re talking AT each other. You have a political / legal mind that cannot see farther than the very confined constraints of what is before you. Everything you analyse, you do so fundamentally from a microscopic view, with all the little details and such. But you cannot see the big picture. An issue as obvious as this is incomprehesible to you. You see federal, state and local laws and even though the consequence of their lack of harmony creates CRAZY situations like these, you go: “Well, that’s because the books…” Your fundamental right of free movement is hindered by these absurd little rules and regulations, and that’s okay with you because IT’S IN THE BOOKS. Technicalities like these are making the entire system collapse under the very weight of ridiculous little laws created solely to profit at whatever cost. Common sense, courtesy and livability be damned. The US used to be a land in which the life was good. Now, it’s just a police state to benefit bureaucracies and the rich. Thanks for contributing Waldo.

  14. Don’t write tickets for a missing sticker if a car is parked in the city. Only write tickets for moving violations, that way the officer can look at the person’s license and see if they really do live in VA beach.

    Problem solved.

    I fuucking hate the stickers, you need *3* stickers on your car. Why cant we just have one sticker signify all 3 things? How about we get, oh, I dont know, a database? And just reject vehicle registration to anyone who doesn’t have an up to date inspection on file, or who hasn’t paid their taxes.

    Can you find any other state that has this many vehicle stickers? There MUST be a better way.

  15. "And just reject vehicle registration to anyone who doesn’t have an up to date inspection on file, or who hasn’t paid their taxes. "

    I like solutions like this but then I`m sure my taxes would rise to pay the fees the vehicle owner didn`t/couldn`t because it would be unfair (in some minds) to take away the right to drive merely because he didn`t comply.

  16. We need simple and fair laws. In many countries, registration is a one location affair for not only the city, but for at least the whole country, if not neighboring countries too.

    Taxes need to be collected. Fine. But make that transparent and fair. With our computerized systems today, ‘warning tickets’ are easy and effective. The reason county/city folks don’t won’t to allow cops to issue these are multiple. But it’s all mainly about extracting additional revenues while still maintaining a fakely low property and income tax rates. Of course, if they straighforward about the real taxation, they may have to JUSTIFY their take with their bureaucracy.

  17. <<The bottom line? We’re not talking WITH each other, we’re talking AT each other. >>

    You’re mocking Waldo for not continuing to banter back and forth with you? You accuse *him* of only being able to see one side of this story? Yet you fail to admit that the City has a right to collect its fees from residents who fail to pay their taxes, and poorly administered or not, if I’m going to fork over my cash so should everyone else. Now the 5 folks up on the platform need to show they are as smart as they think they are and figure out a better, less self-serving system.

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