Open Letter To City Hall: Why We Need To Raise Street Parking To $300 A Year

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First. Why do we need to pay for street parking?

Basically it is a fee to make sure you are a legitimate resident of the city of Hoboken who wants to park a car, registered in NJ to park here. The fee orginally was simply $15, and living here since 1995 it's always been that cost. 

I'm someone that doesn't believe that street parking should be free. I think we have an issue of supply and demand. Our supply is the number of parking spots that are available on our streets. The demand is the number of people who want to park on the street, which is cheaper than renting or buying a dedicated parking spot.

Also we live in a city where you have homeowners, renters and people who live in subsidized housing.

I own my home. I pay my taxes every year. My taxes go to various city services to support things I need and things my neighbor may need. My taxes pay for children, which I do not have, to go to school everyday. I'm fine with my taxes helping others. People who rent say, "Well my rent goes to paying taxes!" - that's not 100% true especially for those who live in PILOT buildings that paid a fee years ago instead of paying taxes for city services like the rest of us. We have many, many buildings in Hoboken today that do not pay a dime in taxes for over 20 years. Also we have people who live in subsidized housing with Federal and state funds - are they paying their fair share in taxes?

But I don't agree that my taxes need to be used for your car ownership. I lived here for 20+ years without needing a car. I have done the math before of what it costs to own a car, insurance, parking, gas and compared those costs with public transportation, short-term rentals (ZipCar) and long-term rentals (Avis). 

The proposal the other day to city council was raising the free from $15 a year (4 cents a day) to $300 a year (.82 cents a day). The first reaction is, "Why raise it at all?"

Currently I estimate we have about 10,000 registered cars in Hoboken. At $15 each, we get $150,000 a year from that revenue. If it was raised to $300 a year, it would generate $3 MILLION dollars a year. What could we do with $3m a year?

First, I would think we need more municipal garages. If we used the $3m a year to pay for the construction of garages, that would mean more parking for residents and visitors. Also, garages would generate revenue from people parking in them. Less cars on the street, and more revenue for the city. That's a win-win. 

Second, i'd like to see our streets pristine. I'd like to see them pothole free and paved on a regular schedule. Also, I would suggest we use the funds to fix our sewer system, which is in dire need to be upgraded.

Third, raising the fee to $300 a year, someone might reconsider their "need" for a car and try to live, like I did, without a car. Having a car is freedom and while you can't argue that it is pretty nice to have that freedom, I found that saving thousands of dollars a year in not owning a car was one of the key reasons why I was able to save enough money to buy a condo and fund my retirement in my 401K. Small price to pay for those things. 

Even after reading this you still believe it is a "cash grab", ask yourself one question:
Is it really TOO MUCH to pay .82 cents a day to own a car in Hoboken if you know that the money would go to fund parking garages, pave our streets and fix our constantly breaking sewer system? 

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on May 5, 2017 12:48 AM.

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