Downtown Miami municipal garage users may see higher charges
By Risa Polansky
Downtowners who use municipal garages and lots could be paying more to park come summer.
Miami Parking Authority Off-Street Parking Board members were to vote Wednesday (3/5) on the increases, which range from 2% to 9% on allowed maximum charges in certain facilities downtown. On top of that, customers would also pay the city's 15% parking surcharge and 7% sales tax.
The authority does not always charge the city-mandated maximum rates.
An example: customers now pay $2.03 per half hour, plus the surcharge and tax, to park in the Cultural Center garage, 90 SW 1st St.
After the hike, the maximum rate — which, by city ordinance, sits at $2.25 now — could run up to $2.44 per half hour, plus the added charges.
The all-inclusive $15 all-day charge in that garage is to remain.
Some garages, such as the College Station Garage at 190 NE 3rd St., are to see less drastic changes: a 2% hike on rates up to three hours.
The all-inclusive $10.25 charge for three to 24 hours there is to remain the same, as is the all-inclusive weekend rate of $4.25.
Monthly renters in both garages would see 9% hikes on maximum charges. Some lots that offer monthly parking would also charge more.
The authority, a city arm, hasn't raised its rates since 2005, Executive Director Arthur Noriega said.
Before that, he said, they went a decade without upping charges in some garages.
Now "we're way below market on the rates" charged in some private downtown parking facilities, Mr. Noriega said. "Everything around us has gotten more expensive."
Hiking rates "creates some competitive balance," he said, though he called the changes "very, very minor."
City ordinance allows the parking board to increase maximum rates 3% annually without commission approval.
Because the rates haven't changed in three years, Mr. Noriega said, they're allowed the 9% increase.
The authority would likely implement the changes beginning this summer.
The plan to hike the rates is "not a revenue generator," he stressed. The authority has yet to calculate expected revenue increases from the measure.
Also, he noted, "we're not changing any of the metered rates."