Philly council divided over parking tax reduction – WHY
Gabe Morgan, the union’s vice president, said the criticisms were valid but the union continues to push forward its support. Morgan said the union has been calling for better working conditions for more than a year.
“In my experience… it turns out that companies and businesses tend to do nothing at all for workers, unless they have no choice or there is some form of government incentive, ”Morgan said. “What is happening is something is going to happen… like a parking tax break… that maybe makes companies want to finally sit down and do something that will help workers.”
The union said it could help 2,000 Philadelphia workers.
Morgan and Parker say that while the labor agreement is not legally binding, they believe it is still binding since the Council is allowed to increase the tax the following year.
John Kromer, professor of urban studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is not at all optimistic about the parking tax cuts. He hasn’t seen any evidence to support that a tax cut means more benefits for workers.
“The reduction in the parking tax really has no impact in terms of economic development goals for the city,” Kromer said. “I understand the feeling of improving the economic well-being of parking lot workers, but it is not clear that adopting this measure would do that.”
Kromer also argued that parking garages in general will become less viable over time anyway and that the focus should be on finding other uses because these garages are on real estate that could be used more productively.
“Parking garages, in terms of downtown development, really hamper other development goals like housing or retail,” Kromer said.
Kromer recommended that the city look to the future where there will be fewer parking garages or be prepared to modify existing garages so that they can double for other uses.