Shoupistas around the world will take heart at this story from Buffalo NY. The local merchants are organizing to get the city to plow more than snow in their neighborhoods. They are asking that the money that is garnered from those parking in business areas be plowed back into the neighborhoods from whence it came.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s one of Don Shoup’s major points. If you want to make collecting parking fees politically popular, take the money and plow it right back into the neighborhood where the meters are located.
Of course if you read the article you find that the city is hesitant, since, after all, the money is going into the general fund and woe to anyone who tries to tamper with that. Politicians feel that once they have their hands on the money, they can use it any way they want.
Using the people’s money in a way that reflects is origin is anathema them. You know, things like property tax going only for those things dealing with one’s property (police, fire, roads, infrastructure, and the like). If you want to collect money for schools, then have a “school tax” and ensure that ALL of that money goes only for local schools.Then you can take money collected from parking and fines and fees and put it toward the neighborhood where the parking space was located.
In Buffalo the merchants want “landscaping, benches, lighting improvements, new bicycle lanes, facade improvements or a variety of other enhancements.” All this might mean more people coming to the area, more business, more sales tax, and a better and healthier community.
Right On Buffalo merchants!