City leaders in Sarasota, Florida are discussing how they will address a $2 million deficit in their parking fund, reports mysuncoast.com. Taxes have been used to balance the fund for the last 4 years. Meters have also been used in the past and could be attempted again, but that suggestion has met with significant resistance. However, it’s the only solution anyone has offered.
Some city leaders are opposed to meters because they say they’ve been tried and failed in Sarasota too many times to discuss further. There’s also concern from local businesses that meters drive away customers.
Regardless of the objections, the money needs to come from somewhere.
But City Manager Tom Barwin worries about possible city debt without the meters.
“The only way we’ve come up with an idea to address it so far is through the parking meter system,” Barwin told commissioners.
I know that nothing about government – at any level – is straightforward, so I’m sure Sarasota officials are doing their best. But there are consultants for this kind of thing. There are public policy consultants that can advise small towns how to raise revenue and parking industry consultants that can tell municipalities how to pay for parking. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a book out there titled “Running a City for Dummies.”
I’m not the expert, but I am under the impression that cities pay for infrastructure and services through taxes, tolls, fees and grants. While Sarasota officials look for other solutions, they might consider that there are no new inventions for raising municipal funding. The costs can be divided between all residents, those who park, and local businesses or any combination of the three.
Read the article here.