Phoenix City Council approves parking meter hike

PHOENIX - The Phoenix City Council has approved a proposal to raise parking meter fees in downtown Phoenix.

It is part of a plan to help the city dig out of a $38 million budget deficit.

Right now, it costs $1.50 to park downtown during normal business hours.

Prices will go as high as $4, but could also be as cheap as 50 cents depending on if there's an event going on downtown.

According to the Associated Press, the higher-priced meters will likely be those on streets closest to Chase Field and US Airways Center during games, concerts and other events.

The proposal also would lengthen the number of hours meters are active daily.

Phoenix collected about $1.65 million in coins and debit-card transactions for parking meters during fiscal 2013.

Councilman Daniel Valenzuela says it's been a long time coming.

"Its been about five years since the City of Phoenix has taken a look at parking meters, so we are a little bit behind," he said.

The new rates are expected to bring in an extra $2 million each year.

But some don't think they should have to pay for the city's budget problems.

"I think if they're in debt, there's probably some quicker ways to come up with the money other than parking meters," said downtown visitor Robert Schmidt.

The new extended hours will begin in August and the new rates will start this October.

The council also passed a proposal to raise fees from $10 to $20 for city recreation passes.


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