I haven’t said much about the attempt in Olympia to pit Seattle’s parking tax against the U-Pass program because I have no independent way to evaluate the claim that the current tax threatens the program. Feel free to convince me in the comments.
Meanwhile, PubliCola reports on Senators White, Murray, Nelson, Kohl-Welles, and Kline (all from Seattle) introducing another awesome bill with no chance this session:
The bill… would allow Seattle to impose a fee on every non-city-owned commercial parking stall in the city. The per-stall fee would apply not just to commercial (paid) parking lots but to free lots like those at Northgate. A per-stall fee would cost the UW less than the commercial parking tax, but would almost certainly be opposed by businesses whose parking is currently free.
SB 5910 calls into relief the incentives that current parking policy creates. There’s nearly no impediment to providing free parking, especially once it’s been built. But if a property owner is interested in operating a smaller lot that requires demand management through pricing, he or she is subjected to the hassle involved in collecting a tax for the city.