The Right Idea, sort of


The Right Idea, sort of

The Finance minister of Malta is telling it like it is. Here’s the money quote: “parking fees are the solution to parking problems or else people will continue to live in “discomfort and confusion that we have adjusted ourselves to live in all these years.”

Finally, someone who tells it like it is. Of course, the politicians don’t have the political will to make it happen, and as the minister found out nearly 20 years ago when he was mayor of a nearby town, instituting parking charges isn’t easy. He failed then, and probably will fail now.

This is being touted by the local political hacks as a “parking tax.” This is the problem. Is it a tax, or is it a fee to park your car on city owned streets? And if it’s a fee, where is the money going?

See, if it’s a fee, the argument can be made that parking isn’t free and that the fee is to provide better services in the area. Taxes, on the other hand, simply find their way into the general fund and go to pay for the mayor’s new office furniture.

Simply taxing a set amount (in this case $100 per year on each car) doesn’t solve the problem. What needs to happen is that those who park in the town should pay, and those who don’t park, shouldn’t. That way those who want to drive into town and pay the fees to do so can, and those who don’t, won’t. This will reduce congestion, make for more space, and all the “Discomfort and confusion” will be reduced. Taxing everyone a set amount doesn’t solve anything.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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