Chicago to Claim Unfortunate Parking Record
As of Jan. 1, its downtown meters will charge most in country
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 27, 2012 11:27 AM CST
This Monday, March 29, 2004 file photo shows a parking meter outside Wrigley Field in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Newser) – Chicago soon will have the nation's most expensive downtown parking meters. On New Year's Day, meters in the city's downtown Loop area will begin charging $6.50 an hour—up from $5.75. A report from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says the rate change will make Chicago the city with the most expensive metered parking.

The company that operates the meters plans to have all machines set to new rates by the end of February. Former Mayor Richard Daley got the City Council to approve the company's 75-year contract in 2008. In return, the city got a $1.1 billion payment—much of which has already been spent. Current Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered an independent audit of the deal, which is now largely viewed as a financial disaster.

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Dec 27, 2012 5:52 PM CST
Fish face the mayor wants a bigger piece of the pie or some legs will get broken.
Dec 27, 2012 2:05 PM CST
City of Chicago and Cook County Parking Lot and Garage Operations Tax A tax is imposed upon the use and privilege of parking a motor vehicle in or upon any parking lot or garage in the City of Chicago and within Cook County. The tax shall be collected by the lot or garage operators from any person who occupies space in or upon any parking lot or garage.LAZ Parking is required to collect the county and city parking taxes from patrons, per the Cook County Parking Lot and Garage Operations Tax and the City of Chicago’s Parking Lot and Garage Operation Tax. Since February 13, 2009, Chicago Parking Meters, LLC has been paying this tax for the parking patrons.Beginning February 13, 2012, Chicago Parking Meters will add the required user tax to your parking time purchase. The user tax will be added automatically to your purchase, based upon your length of stay. You think the parking meter tax is outrageous? Wait until you see the ObamaCare taxes accrue.
Dec 27, 2012 2:00 PM CST
I think its great the prices will go up. Maybe it will limit the amount of cars jamming through the streets here in Chicago. With the metra and CTA, there are plenty of alternatives to driving. Even with the price increase, to this day, there is no parking spots available in the area I work at downtown, near the Daley Center and City Hall. At lunch today I noticed there wasnt a single open space to be had anywhere around here.