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33% Parking Tax in Chicago

October 14, 2008

A sign of things to come around the country?

On Tuesday, workers at a downtown parking garage will hand out flyers to motorists using their facilities, urging them to complain to their alderman. They say Chicago has the second highest parking tax in the country, and with the new proposal it could rise from 27 percent to 33 percent.

A parking industry spokesman said monthly parkers are already paying up to $780 per year in taxes alone, and people who park downtown say it is not a luxury.

“You’re at the mercy of the parking people, and they say 250, you pay 250,” commuter Richard Petrusky said. “Otherwise, you don’t park there.”

“When you think about the gas prices, you think about what you have to pay for car insurance living in the city of Chicago, when you think about how much you have to pay for parking – I wish I could take the CTA or Metra or something like that,” commuter Ken Smith added. 

The parking industry says taxes in Chicago are higher than even in New York or Los Angeles, and if customers have to pay too much, then no one will want to come downtown and it will be detrimental to other industries.

“It’ll be the sixth time in the last 12 years that they’ve raised the parking tax in the city and county. Chicago parking taxes are already higher than Manhattan. You’re gonna stop people from driving. By doing that, you’re going to stop them from going downtown,” said Brian Rainville, a spokesman for the Parking Industry Labor Management Council.

I am very proud that I don’t own a car but I could not imagine living in Chicago and not owning one. They are biting the citizens’ wallets everywhere.

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