Structuring an Equitable Parking Tax: Why the City of Atlanta Needs a Parking Tax and How it Should be Structured
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This paper provides a look into the costs, both direct and externalities, associated with parking and ways to equitably capture those costs through the use of a new parking tax structure in the business districts of Atlanta. I begin with a review of relevant literature in section two, focusing on a regional perspective to parking. Following this regional perspective, I analyze car-centered policies, identifying negative externalities associated with parking and how these policies exacerbate the problems. I then evaluate three categories of parking tax structures currently in place in various business districts in the United States and Australia: applying a commercial parking tax; implementing a per-space parking tax (or levy); and end with a summary of alternative structures. The third section of this paper addresses the issue of why Atlanta needs to focus on the issue of parking. I take each of the parking tax options, estimate the annual revenue if such a tax were to be implemented, and hypothesize the effects of the tax. After addressing the taxation strategies I then calculate the value of government revenue bonds, if one was to be issued, capitalized by the tax revenue stream. Following my calculations of the bond values I propose a strategy to most effectively use the resulting funds in a way that alters commuters’ behavior. I conclude with the potential concerns of implementing such a tax and make a final recommendation for the City of Atlanta.