That’s a nice piece of property you have there. It would be a same if anything were to happen to it.
We usually associate such extortion with the mafia or other nongovernment gangs but they’re petty crooks when compared to local municipalities. The City of Minneapolis raked in over $1.7 billion with this scheme:
The city of Minneapolis issued more than $1.7 billion in building permits last year, the fifth year in a row that the city has burst the billion-dollar bubble.
The 2016 tally, announced Friday, is the second highest Minneapolis has seen since 2000. The only year to dwarf it was 2014, when the city issued $2 billion in permits with the construction of the new U.S. Bank Stadium and surrounding development.
Who says crime doesn’t pay?
Building permits are useful for illustrating two things. First, that local municipalities can make a killing on permit fees even though each individual permit may seem fairly cheap. Second, that you can’t own property in this country. You can rent it from the State, which will allow you to use it in approved manners so long as your rent is paid up. But if you fail to pay your rent or seek the landlord’s blessing anytime you want to use it you may find yourself facing a man in a muumuu who will either send you to a cage or extort more money out of you (or both).