Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Using Transit Parking Garage Fees to Defray Transit Costs

An article in Governing this week entitled, "Should Parking Lots Be Taxed to Fund Bike Paths?" describes a proposal by former Massachusetts state transportation head James Aliosi to use transit station parking garage fees to fund transit and other carbon-reducing transportation (like bicycling).  The key section goes like this:
Among his proposals: taxing parking lots and garages through a system he calls "carbon impact parking assessment." Here's how it would work.
Aloisi envisions the tax being levied on nonresidential parking lots and garages of more than 20 spaces within the MBTA district. The tax could be part of a new system of Transit Improvement Districts -- targeted areas within a community that depend on public transportation for success.
Revenue from the parking tax would provide a steady stream of funding that could then be invested in the public transportation system as well as bicycle and pedestrian pathway improvements.
Aloisi says he isn't aware of any jurisdiction that uses such a system, but it's similar to the idea of tax incremental financing, in which increased property tax revenue that results from development in a given area are then re-invested in the same place.

Aloisi says the plan would mitigate the environmental impact of automobiles while providing funding for other modes of transportation and ensuring that funding remains locally controlled.
It would sure be a simple and effective way to reduce rail-bound traffic along the Silver Line.

Click on the article's title above to read the rest.

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