Posted: January 20th, 2012 by Militant Libertarian
Via Popehat, this is probably the most hilariously absurd regulation I’ve ever seen.
John Stossel called Florida Dept. of Revenue and was told, “A vending machine operator that does not place the notice on the machine presumably is not in compliance with the other requirements such as registration and payment of the tax.”
So why not just make it a notice of tax paid? Or registration . . . er . . . registered?
Even if we accept that incredibly stupid justification at face value, think about enforcement, here. This isn’t a requirement that you post some bar or serial code for some state inspector to verify from time to time. It’s directed at the casual consumer. But if a vending machine is in violation of the notice requirement, there’s no notice to notify the consumer that the machine is in violation. And there’s no number posted for the consumer to call. The only way this serves any purpose whatsoever is if you have a consumer who sees the notice on a compliant machine, then goes to the effort of writing it down and keeping it on his person at all times, in case he happens upon a non-compliant machine. But then to report it, the consumer would have to find some way of identifying the non-compliant machine. Location, I guess. A serial number. Then what? Does the state then send out an inspector to verify?
And assuming all that happens, you then have a vending machine owner fined for nothing more than not complying with a law requiring the owner to post a notice about the requirement to post a notice. And “teacher, you forgot to collect the homework” guy gets a cash reward.
All to protect consumers! Or something! Who cares!