Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Who is the parking tax a tax on?

Jan Ransom writes about the prospects for a City Council bill that would lower the city's parking tax (on parking in lots and garages) by 5 percent. It's currently 20 percent, and the industry believes that's too high.

Who is the parking tax a tax on?

Jan Ransom writes about the prospects for a City Council bill that would lower the city's parking tax (on parking in lots and garages) by 5 percent. It's currently 20 percent, and the industry believes that's too high.

IOM hosted a debate between Robert Zuritsky, president of the Parkway Corp, and Keith Richardson, the city's Revenue Commissioner, on our last podcast. They raised the interesting question of who the parking tax is really on. Richardson argued that the tax isn't on the industry, but on individuals who use its services -- in other words, parking companies don't pay the 20 percent parking tax on total profits, but rather apply the 20 percent tax to each customer who rolls into a parking facility. Zuritsky argued that if the tax drives prices up, then it drives customers away. And that, he said, is a clear burden on the industry.

In any event, the prospects for the reduction are not good. The administration says the city can't afford it, and the mayor is likely to veto the bill.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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