Emanuel`s parking rate tax increase passes City Council - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Emanuel`s parking rate tax increase passes City Council

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Chicago City Council passed a controversial hike in parking fees at its Wednesday meeting, in a move some say will kill downtown business.

The parking rate tax increase passed just before noon at City Hall.

SEE: Mayor's parking tax plan approved: the more you pay, the higher the tax

The rates will increase for drivers who pay a parking fee of more than $25 per day, $125 per week or $600 per month at downtown garages. Everyone else will pay less.

While some short term parkers may pay less in taxes, the drivers taking the biggest hit will be those who park overnight.

The new plan, advanced by the mayor, says that instead of paying on a sliding scale with a cap at $5 for a $12 bill, the parking tax will increase depending on how long you park. So if you park overnight and your bill is $40-$50, you could pay as much as $8-$10 in taxes.

Several aldermen opposed the change.

"We want people to stay here. We've got to encourage people to come here," Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said. "Higher taxes and higher fees are not the way to do it. It doesn't help our image of a friendly city."

"Most of the tourists we're drawing into Chicago are regional," Ald. Brandon Reilly (42nd) said. "They are coming from Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. They are coming by car. When they get here we don't want them facing an exorbitant garage rate."

The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association also claimed the tax change would discourage people from the suburbs from spending the night downtown.

The change takes effect July 1.

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