Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Someone Picks Up On Ballard's Latest Tax Increase

It looks like someone in the news media is finally figuring out that Ballard's plan to privatize the parking meters in the City is just another backdoor tax increase. WTHR reports on the doubling of parking rates that will occur if Ballard's plan is approved:

You may need to put twice as much money in the parking meter soon.

As part of a plan to lease public parking to a private company, parking meters in Indianapolis will cost up to $1.50 per hour.

The new rate will be part of city negotiations with any potential company wanting to lease city parking.

The city's current 75-cent-per-hour fee dates back to the 1970s.

Privatization of public parking meters didn't go over well in Chicago, which saw its rates quadruple to $4.25 an hour in some areas.

The Ballard administration makes it sound like the plan has the full backing of business owners in downtown and Broad Ripple, who will mostly be affected by the privatization of parking meters. I've asked some of those business owners if they are aware the plan may entail charging for parking on evenings and weekends. They typically respond by saying, "Huh?" I can understand why the existing parking garages like the plan. It means people can park in their garages cheaper than parking on the street. In the past, the City has lost a lot of revenues because it refuses to keep the parking meters in a state of repair and has passed out too many free parking permits to political insiders. When this plan first surfaced, we were told Ballard would use the initial windfall from selling off the parking meter business to a private operator to pay for street and sewer improvements. The administration thinks it could get as much as $100 million. It sounds like a few million dollars more in professional fees to Ballard's favorite law firm and should be good for tens of thousands of dollars in additional campaign contributions for his re-election campaign.  
I've seen some of Mike Huber's presentations on WCTY. The guy would make a great snake oil salesman. I can't believe the total bullshit he feeds people who attend these meetings without getting called on the carpet by any one. A little hint to the wise. When someone keeps saying "Right" repeatedly when they are explaining something to you, it usually means they aren't being straight with you. If Huber's ill-fated plan is just another nail in Ballard's political coffin, then I say move forward with the plan. I'm sure Huber has already got his six-figure job lined up and could care less how much his shell game financing schemes are going to wreck this City financially or Ballard's re-election chances next year. After all, like most of the people working in Ballard's administration, he didn't even support him when he ran in 2007.


Downtown Indy said...

When there is an event downtown and the event organizer wants to block some part of the street with meters, they are currently billed $30 per meter per day. That figure is determined by the supposed average daily revenue of a meter.

So this must mean the cost for such events will also go up similarly.

Gary R. Welsh said...

With the current meter rate at 75 cents an hour, I don't see how they could be generating anywhere near that daily amount from a single meter.

Downtown Indy said...

I guess the old memory banks are corroding. I doubled the amount:

Parking Meter Blockage

"You must provide the numbers off the parking meter heads, such as EW 101-105 odd (to use East Washington Street meters 101, 103, and 105.) There is a charge of $15.00 per meter per weekday to block the meters anytime between the hours of 7:00am and 6:00pm. There is no charge for weekends or holidays. If you block meters on a weekday, you will receive an invoice from the Special Events office, and the fees must be paid before the permit is issued. If your organization is a not-for-profit group, you may submit a letter of waiver request. This letter will be presented to the Department of Public Works Board, which will determine if the parking meter fees are to be waived."

Gary R. Welsh said...

That sounds more like it.

Cato said...

The great mistake the Republicans make is in thinking that everyone else is as dumb as them.

Everyone sees through this scam, because Mitch ran the same playbook. It's just another selling off of public assets for private profit disguised as a "lease."

The Mitch Morons are still trying to tell us that the Toll Road wasn't sold off.

The Republicans really think that if they insert the word "lease" somewhere into the sales contract that a sale hasn't occurred. I suspect they rather know a sale occurred, but they can't take the PR heat from that manner of conveyance, so they fight an Orwellian battle of newspeak to keep some bit of confusion in the air.

Paul K. Ogden said...

"If you block meters on a weekday, you will receive an invoice from the Special Events office, and the fees must be paid before the permit is issued. If your organization is a not-for-profit group, you may submit a letter of waiver request."

I wonder if the City ever collects this fee. I know how they are..they probably don't.

artfuggins said...

I wonder if Ballard has already gotten the backing of his favorite puppet Democrat, Jackie Nytes. Nytes has never seen a tax hike or fee increase that she didn't like.

Marv said...

I was living in Chicago part time when the city fathers their made a similar great deal with a private vendor. Does anyone think through the ramifications of 24/7 parking meters? Try going to the theater in an area where there is only metered parking- you hope that intermission is timed right. Or, try enjoying a leisurely meal without keeping one eye on the clock. But my favorite was attending a church in the city and seeing everyones surprise when all the cars outside the church (obviously belonging to persons at church) all had tickets - lots of happy campers that day.