UPDATE: June 13 — The city commission on Tuesday night approved a proposed parking rate increase from $2 per hour to $2.50.
City manager Jonathan Evans said the rate increase goes into effect Wednesday.
The rate hike applies to all publicly-owned lots and metered parking at Johns Pass Boardwalk.
Originally, city officials sold it as an opportunity to raise funds to earmark for specific uses like beautification improvements, namely in John's Pass, but Evans said that's now not the case. Instead, the new revenue will be split in half to be spent on paying down city debt and general capital infrastructure improvements and investments.
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Nobody wants to pay more for anything, especially parking. But prices in the popular tourist town of Madeira Beach could soon go up.
Under the proposal, parking in city-owned lots and John's Pass Village would increase from $2 to $2.50 an hour.
City Manager Jonathan Evans says the increase could bring in an additional $413,000 in revenue a year.
"With this increase, it will actually allow for the parking revenue to exceed what we receive in property tax revenue," Evans said.
Property tax revenue in the city currently stands at $2.2 million annually. Revenue from parking would exceed $2.4 million annually under the rate rise.
"We're very fortunate to have visitors who come to our area that help offset some of the capital investments we need to make," Evans said.
What kind of investments?
Evans says they have specific projects in mind. including improvements at John's Pass Village. The money would also be earmarked for paying down debt on the new city hall.
"It's the number one tourist destination in Pinellas County, so (we're) looking at some of our signage, lighting, streetscape," Evans told 10News.
"It's not going to be something that's just thrown into the city coffers, this is going to be something that's earmarked."
Comparatively, hourly parking rates in Pass-A-Grille are $1.25. In Treasure Island, the hourly rate is $2.00, while hourly rates in Clearwater can vary between $1.25 and $3.00. On-street metered parking in St. Pete Beach is $2.25 an hour.
Evans said city commissioners could vote on the proposal as soon as early May. He expects other neighboring beach towns to follow suit.
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