April 18, 2019
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Portland budget plan calls for increases in parking fees

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Portland City Manager Jon Jennings speaks to reporters in this BDN file photo. Jennings presented his fiscal year 2019 budget proposal to the City Council Monday.

A newly released municipal budget recommendation by City Manager Jon Jennings’ office suggests parking fees in Portland — including garages, metered, and monthly rates — may be on the rise.

Under the city manager’s proposed spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, the city’s two Elm Street parking garages would see a $1-per-hour rate hike, and monthly rates would rise by $10. The proposal also raises citywide metered parking by 25 cents, which a city news release describes as being “in line with most cities.”

Jennings presented his $247 million municipal budget proposal to the City Council at its Monday night meeting. The recommended budget represents a 2.6 percent increase over the current fiscal year spending plan, or a tax increase of $69.55 on a home valued at $240,000.

The city budget must be approved by the council before it is implemented.

Jennings’ budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, 2018, includes funding for two electric vehicles and broader “effort to convert any gas/diesel motor equipment to electric models,” as well as a recommendation to split the city’s Waterfront and Public Buildings divisions from Parks and Recreation, which would “create three new full-time employees” and is intended to help the city manage and attract further growth.

“The council provided guidance for a tax rate increase between 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent increase,” Jennings said in a statement, adding, “I firmly believe that we cannot focus on one piece of government to the detriment of another. Unfortunately, this budget is not a step forward, rather it is status quo. The cuts and things we had to set aside would be much worse had we not already put in place a number of cost control measures.”

The proposal goes before the council on May 14 for discussion, with a final vote slated for May 21.

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