Parking rates to increase in 2023 following state-mandated parking sales tax, rising costs and revenue declines

November 21, 2022

Starting January 1, rates at parking garages and on-street meters operated by the Parking Authority of River City (PARC) will increase, the first change in parking rates since 2018. PARC also will introduce online discounts for drivers who pay for daily parking in advance.

The increase will cover a new state parking sales tax being implemented next year, as well as revenue declines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the Kentucky General Assembly approved House Bill 8, which requires sales tax to be collected on parking fees. The 6 percent tax will be applied for parking services – surface lots, garages and meters; the tax’s estimated annual budget impact for PARC is $1 million.

“PARC cannot absorb the increased expense incurred by the new sales tax. Our organization is completely self-funded, and 100 percent of our revenues are reinvested back into our parking structures and services. In order to stay that way over the long term, we must raise our hourly, daily and monthly parking rates. A rate increase is something that we have considered and needed for a while; however, we held off during the COVID-19 pandemic to support businesses, particularly those downtown,” said PARC Director Mike Tudor.

He added that the rate increase will allow PARC to cover necessary annual capital expenses and infrastructure improvements, the cost of which have risen in recent years. “The funding from this increase will help us ensure that our parking garages are safe, clean and well-maintained,” Tudor said.

The annual operating expense to maintain PARC garages is currently about $8.5 million. In 2020 and 2021, PARC lost an average of $4 million annually related to the pandemic and was forced to tap into the authority’s savings fund to cover maintenance costs.

Parking in all PARC garages will remain $1 for the first 30 minutes, and PARC is not extending paid parking hours on the street. Drivers can still park on the street for free after 6 p.m., and parking on the street will remain free on Sundays. Drivers who are grabbing take-out also can take advantage of free 15-minute parking at metered spaces near the entrance of a restaurant by putting their flashers on.

PARC launching online discounts, offering free parking on Small Business Saturday

In an effort to off-set the impacts of these increases, PARC will be offering discounted daily parking in its garages online through the website www.parcdaypass.com. Discounts will go up to half off the daily parking rate and will encourage parkers to book their parking space before coming downtown for business or pleasure. The discounts will not apply to event parking.

PARC also will offer free on-street parking on Small Business Saturday, November 26, to encourage visitors and residents to celebrate the holiday season at local restaurants and complete their holiday shopping at local retail stores.

“While the rate increases are necessary, we want to incentivize people to continue coming downtown by offering discounts to those who pay in advance. We also understand that local businesses are still recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; by offering free on-street parking on Small Business Saturday, we are encouraging people to support their favorite restaurants and shops, as well as discover new favorites,” Tudor said.

PARC’s new rates

 

   Current Average Rate  

New Average Rate

(effective January 1)

Monthly Unreserved Parking

$96.07 

$107.14 

Monthly Reserved Parking

$115.83 

$133.38 

Transient Hourly Parking

 $2.00 

$3.00 

Transient All-Day Parking

$20.00 

$22.00 

On-Street Meter Parking (first 2 hours)

$2.00/hour 

$2.25/hour 

On-Street Meter Parking (after first 2 hours)

$3.00/hour 

$3.35/hour 

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