The D.C. Council voted Wednesday to extend the hours that parking meters are in effect in some of the city's busiest areas, and to increase the amount of parking fines issued in D.C. by $5.
The vote averted Mayor Muriel Bowser's proposal to raise some taxes. Bowser had proposed increasing the sales tax to six percent, as it is in Maryland and Northern Virginia. She had also suggested raising the tax on parking lots and garages.
But several members of the D.C. Council opposed raising taxes. Chairman Phil Mendelson proposed extending the hours for parking meters in areas such as Adams Morgan, Georgetown and the downtown business district.
"Our revenues are growing by hundreds of millions of dollars a year; we don't need to be raising taxes and in fact the recommendation that the council's considering doesn't require us to raise taxes," Mendelson said Tuesday.
The Council approved the suggestion Wednesday, but fiscal watchdogs said Tuesday either choice would have been good news for D.C.'s less fortunate.
The budget provides millions of dollars for affordable housing and services for the homeless.
"More money for things that are important to D.C. residents, like affordable housing, homeless services and assistance to crime victims, that's all great news," said Ed Lazeer of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute on Tuesday.
The change to parking meters will go into effect in October in the following neighborhoods:
- Adams Morgan
- Georgetown Historic District
- Penn Quarter/Chinatown
- U Street NW Corridor
- Downtown Central Business District
- Maine Avenue and Water Street SW
- The National Mall
- Wisconsin Avenue NW (from Van Ness Street to Western Avenue)