Death, Taxes, & Parking Meters
But today, in modern Chicago, you can add parking meters to Franklin’s adage.
Surprisingly, parking meters and taxes have combined in a particularly galling fashion.
Tribune columnist Eric Zorn tipped off The Expired Meter to this toxic combination on Tuesday when he pointed to a relatively new policy from Chicago Parking Meters, LLC to begin charging city and county parking taxes at the handful of metered parking lots across the city.
According to the Chicago Parking Meters website, the company had not been charging drivers the taxes (but paid them anyways) until they changed that policy this February and began passing on the taxes to drivers.
Many of these lots are on the northside, with three in Lincoln Square, and few more adjacent to stretches of Lincoln Ave. At many of these metered lots, monthly parking is allowed as well.
These metered lots came under the control of CPM via the parking meter lease deal. Before the meter lease deal, it cost 25 cents an hour to park, an amount too low to be taxable.
Ironically, the new increased meter fees have pushed parking fees in these lots above the threshold where drivers are now expected to pay city and county parking taxes.
The taxes only kick in a certain expenditure levels.
If you pay for just an hour, which will cost you $1.75, no additional taxes so no problem.
But if you add another fifty cents for another few minutes of parking, it immediately takes the driver over the $2.01 threshold and now your $2.50 metered parking will cost you $4.00 due to $.50 in Cook County taxes and $1.00 in city taxes.
But it gets worse.
Pay for the maximum three hours of parking, or $5.25 and now the county tax is an additional $.75 and the city hits you up for an extra $1.75 making your new total with taxes $7.75. That’s an extra $2.50 on top of the already expensive meter rates. Ouch!
The best advice is to stay away from these parking lots if possible and avoid the extra taxes.
Read Eric Zorn’s take on the subject, “Meet the meter tax — Latest parking insult is likely not the last.”