Leading up to budget day, CityCaucus.com will offer you in depth analysis of Vancouver's proposed Budget 2009. We will delve into the details and provide you with the highlites of what the Mayor's staff didn't include in the official talking points leaked to select media last night. The first in our series of posts relates to increased parking rates.
As part of the budget, buried on page 33 in Appendix 7, there is a recommendation to increase the amount of money it will cost you if you decide to park in Vancouver. As predicted here earlier, a number of revenue generators have been included in the budget as a means of balancing Vancouver's books. Hiking parking fees is one of them.
The proposed changes to parking rates and new meters will add $3.125 million to the City's budget. Council also plans to increase the existing zones where you have to pay. According to the staff report, they propose:
"2 expansions in existing zones, one that needs to be formalized subsequent to a trial period (Point Grey) and the other as an expansion of the existing Commercial Street zone."
The parking meter program provides significant revenues to the City, totaling approximately $28 million in 2008.
It would also appear the Olympics will negatively impact parking revenue, however the City report does not outline how much that cost will be to City taxpayers.
The neighbourhoods most affected by proposed increased meter rates are Chinatown, Downtown, Central Broadway, Cambie Street, Kerrisdale, Kitsilano and Commercial Drive. For example, the rate in Commercial drive will double from $1 to $2.
The local merchants were surveyed and agreed with the City's strategy of increasing rates as a means of ensuring more turnover of vehicles on the street.
If you are unfortunate enough to get a parking ticket, you're also going to get dinged a bit more in 2009. If the current budget is approved, a number of existing fines are going to go way up. These measures are expected to generate $1.2 million in new revenue for the City.
For fines that are currently set at $60, they will be increased by about 16% to $70. While fines currently set at $70 will be increased by about 14% to $80. Those fines currently set at $90, will be jacked up to $100. Of course, the City will only collect the revenue if they can actually force the vehicle owner to pay...not likely.
Our next post will feature a look at the proposed budget to fund the operations of the Mayor and Councillor's offices. Tune back here soon.