Garages say Philadelphia can afford to cut parking tax

Parking garage owners in Philadelphia are seeking a tax break and say it could be implemented despite the city’s budget problems.

Currently the parking tax is 20 percent, and garage operators have to pay the levy in addition to other city business taxes. Robert Zuritsky who heads the Philadelphia Parking Association said the tax is more than even New York City.

“We’ve come up with a lot of replacement revenue we think more than covers the three and a half million dollars we are looking for in the first year,” said Zuritsky.

Zuritsky wants to reduce the rate bit by bit until it’s 15 percent. He said the money to cut the tax would come from cracking down on illegal parking facilities in the city.

“We’ve identified 135 parking facilities in the city that are not licensed. We believe that are not paying the taxes we have to pay. We are subject to 11 different taxes and fees to operate within the city,” he said.

City Councilman Jim Kenney is behind the tax break, but said the savings must be passed along to parking customers.

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