The City of Beverly Hills is looking into a tax on parking revenues. They are holding a meeting on the 15th to collect “input” from the citizenry and then present it the next day to the city council. BH Parking chief Chad Lynn tells me that this is in the “study” stage and final decisions shouldn’t be made on Tuesday. I won’t comment on the “day before” meeting. Cities seems to take forever to fix the pothole in front of your house but can pass a tax in warp speed.
I have been asked for ammunition against such a tax and I found that we reported on how San Francisco defeated a similar tax increase earlier this year. If you want to read the article you can go here.
SF parking operator Tim Leonoudakis and a group of Bay Area Stakeholders got together and smacked down the proposal hard. It wasn’t easy, and it was costly, but it worked. Here are some of the bullet points in the article:
- The tax affects not only the parking business but also the health of the entire downtown business core.
- Typically, business and unions are on opposite sides of an issue. However, in San Francisco, each saw that the reduction of traffic in the downtown area, the threat of business moving out of the city, people making choices to work and play in other areas were a direct threat to all their livelihoods.
- New taxes were bad for business, bad for merchants, and can have a chilling effect.
- How are they going to collect the tax? The City of LA has a terrible time collecting an existing parking tax. It’s and expensive and complex problem that needs parking experts.
- If the BH Parking Enterprise fund needs additional money, why not look into the amount that is being charges on and off street and adjust it accordingly. In effect, by charging a “tax” you are simply raising rates, why not be up front and take a hard look at all the rates in the city. Maybe some are too low, but maybe some are too high.
- Understand that the city needs revenue – look at alternate means of collecting including rates, gasoline taxes, and other means.
- Of course, perish the thought, but perhaps the city could look at a reduction in its expenses to help meet budgets by decreasing the outgo, rather than increase the income.
- This is not an exhaustive list. National Parking Association members can go on line to get a lot of help in fighting parking taxes. http://www.npapark.org.
I have read some the emails from Beverly Hills land owners, developers, and parking operators. They are hot, and rightly so. Every time we turn around we are hit with new fees, charges, regulations, and taxes. Sheehs.