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Montreal wants to Tax your Parking Spot

Montreal wants to Tax your Parking Spot
@Wikimedia Commons

Montreal municipal councillor Marvin Rotrand (Coalition Montréal) has proposed that the municipal government band together to demand that taxes be raised for the many large parking lots that dot the Greater Montreal landscape. Mayor Valérie Plante (Projet Montréal) said she is open to the idea.

According to Rotrand, parking lots such as the 10,000-vehicle free parking at Brossard’s DIX30 mall are bad for Montreal’s economy because they keep shoppers out of the city.

The principle is that free parking outside Montreal’s downtown core discourages consumers from shopping in the busier central streets, hurting businesses there and encouraging continuous urban sprawl. Rotrand suggested that the revenues from such a tax could be reinvested in public transit.

Practically unlimited suburban parking spaces are hurting our commercial streets while encouraging urban sprawl. […]There is too much urban sprawl. We can see it in the U.S., where too many American cities’ downtown areas have become empty shells because no one has dared to stop it.

Marvin Rotrand

Of course, the City of Montreal doesn’t have the power to tax parking lots outside the island, where the biggest problem lies according to Rotrand. Therefore, his idea is to have Montreal present the provincial government with a united front to demand that GMA parking lots be taxed, like Montreal’s streets.

Rotrand also proposed that Montreal modulate its parking metre costs according to usage. Busier streets would see a price increase to $4/hour, while streets with a lower occupancy rates would see their rates decreased to $2/hour.

What do you think of the idea of taxing the GMA’s suburban parking lots?

Would you shop more in Montreal if those parking lots were to cost money? Would you shop less in the suburbs? We want to know! So head over to Facebook to give us YOUR two cents in the comment section!

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