Meter Parking Revenue: Cart or Horse First?

City Council members continue to importune the Parking Authority to send along additional revenues being collected from higher parking rates and extended hours requiring payment at the City’s parking meters.

The Parking Authority has turned down the Council’s entreaties on the grounds that, until the state approves the City’s pension funding plan, it will not adopt a new revenue agreement with the City. The Authority’s rationale seems highly defensible. If the state rejects the hastily constructed, last second Council plan when it rules in September, the City Council in all likelihood have to redo the legislation calling for extensive diversion of parking tax revenue and the new rates and rules governing meters. Who can say for sure what a state takeover of pensions would mean for how the City will meet the obligations imposed by the state pension managers?

There would seem to be a high probability of revisiting a variant of the Mayor’s plan to lease the Parking Authority assets. If that occurs any revenue agreement between the City and the Authority is out the window.

Besides, the answer from the state is only a month or so away. So why is the City Council in such a hurry to change the revenue agreement? If the state approves the City’s pension funding plan, the Council will be a on a much firmer footing to approach the Authority to draw up a new agreement. A little patience is warranted.