Parking tax hike leaves drivers searching for cheaper options - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Parking tax hike leaves drivers searching for cheaper options

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Daily, monthly, or a couple of times a year. If you park in one of Chicago's parking garages, you may soon be paying more.

The city wants to tack on a 20 percent tax on top of what you're already paying.

Some drivers say by the time they've paid the rent, childcare, their car payment, and monthly parking downtown, they're almost out of money.

"Yeah, it's ridiculous," one driver says. "It makes it hard to work."

Now, the city wants to hit drivers even harder with more taxes. If you're paying $25 a day or $600 a month, your weekday bill will go up 20 percent in taxes.

A driver paying $35 a day to pull in and out for parking, will pay $7 instead of $5 in taxes.

Drivers say that will take a bite out of the budget.

"I don't know. For me, the convince is worth it," a Chicago driver says. "So you either pay it on the bus or in the car."

Drivers aren't the only ones facing a decision. Chicago's hotel industry has come out strongly against the city's parking tax increase.

At some upscale hotels in the Loop, guests already pay about $45 for overnight parking. With the new tax increase, Jerry Roeper with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce says those tourists and guests may think twice about a one tank trip to the big city because it could cost them big bucks.

"We're all about trying to drive economic growth up along with the mayor along with the hotel association and the restaurant association, but these are the things that will get people thinking maybe we're better staying in the burbs," Roeper says.

To help everyone get around some of the parking fees, Parkwhiz has created an app to help parkers find a spot and reserve it for less.

"You download the app, you put in the location, and the times you're looking for parking and locations and you'll see a map of the available garages in the area,"

For now, this is just a proposal. If the full council votes in favor of the plan on Wednesday, the hike will start in July.

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