In Honduras, paying gangs so they don't kill you is so common that people use a really ordinary word when they talk about extortion payments: rent.
Phoenix Parking Lots May See Fewer Charity Boxes
There may be fewer of those charity drop boxes you see in commercial parking lots around Phoenix. A new fee on the boxes goes into effect Jan. 1.
Until the city council approved the new permitting fee this week there was no regulation on who could place those large collection boxes or where. Shopping center owners told the city council that boxes often were placed without any notice or contact information.
According to city staffers, some for-profit companies had begun partnering with charities and that led to confusion and complaints from people who thought they were donating to a nonprofit organization.
Alan Stevenson with the planning and development department explains what the city is now requiring.
"They have to pay $135 the first year and then $25 in subsequent years, and also require property owner authorization," Stevenson said.
Stevenson says owners will also have to maintain the area around the boxes and make sure the containers do not block traffic or parking spaces.
Some charities that have multiple boxes expressed concern about the cost of the permits. One thing the new process will do is help the city determine how many collections bins there are. Right now the city estimates there’s somewhere between 1,500 and 6,000 charity boxes in Phoenix.