Taxing Off Airport Parking


Taxing Off Airport Parking

Got a call the other day from a reporter in Fort Worth. He was doing a story on the fact that the owners of DFW (Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth) were preparing an ordinance that would charge the off airport parking operators a tax on their gross sales. At least 30 airports across the country do this.

I think its counterproductive, AND, it singles out certain parkers for a increase in their parking fees. Since the airport is a monopoly (lets face it, you can’t land a 747 just anywhere) and a quasi governmental organization, it is in a position to literally put its competition (parking, that is) out of business.  Talk about your Department of Justice lawsuits. 

The courts, however, I’m told, have found this tax to be legal.  So what do you do?

The off airport operators can be more efficient, provide better service at a lower price, pay their taxes and still compete. However its no fun to write that check to the government. I wonder if the airport gets a percentage of the take from the hotels that surround it (the wouldn’t be there if there was no airport), or from the convenience stores, or gas stations, or restaurants. Airports like DFW have an entire city surrounding it that wouldn’t be there if the airport didn’t exist. Why shouldn’t they pay this tax just as off airport operators have to do?

The argument might be that these businesses "support" the airport.  Well, so do off airport operators. Lets face it, if 30,000 or 40,000 parking spaces went away around DFW tomorrow, the airport would be in a world of hurt. 

Just talking here…


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John Van Horn

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