When I got out of my car to retrieve something out of my trunk, I noted something peculiar about Smith's car. It had Ohio license plates. The frame surrounding the plate said "BMV CLEVELAND" at the top and "DAVIS AUTOMOTIVE GROUP" at the bottom. Of course, Smith is forever writing about how wonderful mass transit has worked out for Cleveland.
Shortly after the meeting, I went back to the parking lot to take a picture of the plate . . .
Why would someone continue to put Ohio plates after moving to Indiana years ago? Because unlike Ohio license plates, Indiana plates come with a hefty auto excise tax attached to them. The revenue from excise taxes is not dedicated and is distributed to local governments pursuant to the same formula used for property taxes. In other words, excise tax money goes to schools, libraries, parks, public safety and to fund the very bus service that Erika Smith is pushing Indy residents to dramatically expand.
Just to be clear, I own two cars. One is my primary vehicle, which is a not-so-snow-friendly sports car registered here in Indiana that I drive most of the year. The car with that Ohio plate is owned by my father, although I believe my name is also on the title. I drive it only a couple months out of the year (the rest of the year, it sits in Ohio) and that is why it is registered with Ohio plates.
I do, however, have an Indiana driver's license (and plenty of parking tickets to prove it) so I am indeed paying taxes here year-round.
Thanks for blurring the plate number, though.
--Erika D. Smith