Phoenix to vote on higher downtown parking rates

PHOENIX - Wednesday's Phoenix City Council vote could change how much change you put in those parking meters.

The vote is part of a plan to help Phoenix dig out of a $33 million dollar budget deficit.

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

Prices could go as high as four dollars, but could also be as cheap as fifty cents depending on if there's an event going on downtown.

The hours you pay would also extend until 10 p.m. at night, including weekends and holidays.

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 dollars 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.

If approved, the new extended hours would begin in August and the new rates would start this October.

Officials are also considering raising the prices on water and athletic fields.

City officials say water rate changes would generate the most revenue. Rates would go up for all customers but prices will vary depending on water meter size. Residential customers would pay and additional $1.50, some businesses may have to pay as much as an extra $75.

Park and recreation fees could also be on the increase if the vote passes. Recreation passes would double for adults, seniors and youths. Charges for renting an athletic field will go up about $2 an hour. And charges for athletic field lighting will go up $5 per hour.

See more about the proposed changes here

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