When the Regional Transportation Authority legislation was drafted in 1974, there was a parking tax to allow motorists to subsidize those fortunate enough to be able to take mass transit.
The social engineers at the time argued that mass transportation was a societal good and car drivers deserved to be punished.
Hence, a parking tax.
The language was vague and RTA opponents, notably State Rep. Don Deuster of Lake County, argued that attendees in church parking lots could be taxed.
The referendum passed by less than 13,000 votes with the first Mayor Richard Daley telling an FM radio reporter when it appeared the issue ight be defeated, “Well, we haven’t finished casting the ballots.”
That memorable quote came about 10:30-11 o’clock.
The parking tax, collected mainly in Chicago, was killed by legislation during the administration of George Ryan.
Downtown merchants had figured out it was not a good idea because it deterred shoppers.
Now, Democrats are going to have another try at forcing motorists to subsidize CTA, Metra and Pace riders.
Starting next year the cost for drivers in parking garages and lots, will be 6% tax on daily and hourly parking, but 9% on monthly and annual parking.