When the Regional Transportation Authority was proposed in 1973, it contained a disincentive to drive a car into Chicago’s Loop.
It was a parking tax.
I think it was 15 cents, but it was large enough at the time to deter shoppers. At least that’s what enough Downtown business owners though, because they lobbied successfully for its repeal.
Now comes a politician who was round in 1973—Alderman Ed Burke—proposing to levy a tax on the privilege of driving in the Loop.
“It would reduce the number of automobiles coming into the Central Business District. And No. 2, it would provide a revenue stream for public transit,” Burke told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Burke said he was inspired by the fees London had imposed and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed $8 fee on cars and $21 on trucks.
This is not the first time the social engineer’s approach to “solving” the mass transit funding shortfall has attacked motor vehicles.
Earlier this year, the Chicago Tribune floated one of the original RTA proponents’ ideas—an RTA gas tax. It was abolished about the same time the parking tax disappeared.
Another long-time politician, Mayor Richard Daley reacted negatively, again, according to the Sun-Times:
Let’s not rush to that and scare everybody off. We’re trying to keep businesses here…”
“Are you gonna put I on all the alderman [who] drive down every day? Do you start with them?”
“A congestion fee would have a devastating impact on tourism,” Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper added.
The Sun-Times slso dded an income tax twist:
What about those who consider a congestion fee here a back-door city income tax on suburbanites who work in Chicago?
“One could argue that, since they’re using our streets and not paying the wheel tax that Chicago residents pay, that it would be a fair way of spreading around the responsibility for funding some of our expenses,” Burke said.
Of course, if the Chicago-dominated state government had the courage, they could enact a real Chicago income tax.
Another Ed Burke said, http://thinkexist.com/quotation/those_who_don-t_know_history_are_destined_to/346796.html
“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”