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Emanuel's Parking Tax Proposal Sails Through City Council

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 10, 2013 7:20PM

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to change Chicago's parking tax from its current sliding scale to a flat rate was rubber-stamped at at Wednesday's City Council meeting by a 39-6 vote. Let's just list the aldermen who voted "nay," since it's easier: Bob Fioretti (2nd); Michael Chandler (24th); Scott Waguespack (32nd); Mary O’Connor (41st); Brendan Reilly (42nd); and John Arena (45th).

The Emanuel proposal would place a 20 percent tax on weekday parking and 18 percent on weekends. Motorists who pay more than $25 on weekdays, $125 weekly or $600 monthly for parking can expect a hefty increase in parking taxes. The hotel lobby opposes the flat tax, arguing it has the potential to affect future bookings and regional tourism. Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association CEO Marc Gordon estimated 18 percent of people who stay in downtown hotels drive to the city and park overnight. City Budget Director Alexandra Holt said the change to the tax wouldn't affect the projected revenues for parking tax revenue in Emanuel's 2013 budget.