Will doubling parking rates in the downtown area help downtown businesses?
The answer is “no.” Increasing parking rates in front of a business does not benefit that business, or Walmart would charge for parking. However, increasing parking rates will reduce the number of people who are willing to pay the price to park, so there will be more empty stalls, or the stalls will remain empty longer because fewer people will use them, except for the handicap spaces who park free in Lake Geneva, because there are only 14 spaces in the whole city. Those with handicap permits can park free in City of Lake Geneva parking stalls. It might be expected that increasing parking rates would increase the number of downtown parking spots occupied by the handicapped. That might not be good, depending upon how the community views handicapped people. Increasing parking rates might also harm businesses by reducing the number of local non-resident patrons who would otherwise frequent the downtown businesses, for a late breakfast, lunch or dinner, especially on weekdays, rainy days and during the off peak tourist season when parking is available and rates are still in effect.
Charging two dollars an hour to park is like a two-dollar cover charge to eat in a downtown Lake Geneva restaurant. Knowing that raising parking rates may possibly harm businesses, why is the city planning on doubling the downtown parking rates? The city thinks that it needs more money to solve its spending problem. Borrowing $3.5 million, transferring the $250,000 fire hydrant fee to the property tax bill, increasing property tax by 5% with an increase in property assessments, adding more paid parking stalls, and yet still the city needs more revenue to continue its spending pattern previously enabled by supplementing city spending with TIF funds (that source has been closed)? There could also be a hidden motive behind the increase in parking rates. By increasing the parking rates in the downtown area, it may only harm downtown businesses in those areas where the parking increases apply.
Which means, it will likely benefit the businesses, restaurants & coffee shops outside of the downtown area where parking is less or is free.
Treasure of Lake Geneva
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