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Parking - Catch All

Northern Light

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Just setting up this thread because I didn't see a logical place to drop 2 related reports headed to the Sept 9th meeting of TEYCC.
Those reports concern the loss of parking that occurred when Bloor West go Cycle Tracks from Shaw to Runnymede.

What's really good news in these reports, to me, and therefore worth posting about, is that the City is seeing to address this by eliminating free parking on nearby side streets in favour of paid parking!
I have personally advocating for this for some time, and hope this idea spreads to the Danforth!

Report here: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-170116.pdf

From said report:

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An additional report, really on the same subject, concerns High Park Avenue, because the road has TTC Service and therefore full Council will have to approve the changes:

Report here: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-170093.pdf

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To reduce the cost of charging $1 per car for small business, there should be a provincial system where business owner can bill a car license plate, then the driver must pay when they want to renew their driver license.

There needs to be a low cost but secure car detection system to implement the above.
 
To reduce the cost of charging $1 per car for small business, there should be a provincial system where business owner can bill a car license plate, then the driver must pay when they want to renew their driver license.

There needs to be a low cost but secure car detection system to implement the above.

Not workable or desirable.

Linking business databases to government service provision is a slippery slope to say the least.

There are much easier ways to address the issue.

1) Although this reduces the effectiveness of the idea, you can simply exempt very small parking areas (say 10 spaces or less), that still allows targeting of major shopping centres or the like.

2) Allow a business to 'rent' a pay and display machine from Green P for their spaces in exchange for a cut of the revenue. (no upfront fee), Minimum annual revenue for Green P must be equal to or greater than
any parking tax, and if that is not achieved, the business pays the difference.

If the above doesn't pay for itself, then the parking should be reduced or eliminated as a business decision.

We don't want to make such a process any more cumbersome than it need be; we simply want to ensure that parking isn't offered to customers or employees at below market rates.
 
At first thought to stay the heck out of this, but I'm sitting around waiting for a delivery so what the heck. A few thoughts, in no particular order or not completely thought through:

- I'm a mall or big box owner. I bought the land to support the business of my tenants. I pay the mortgage plus the land taxes, and now the government gets a piece of it? I have no idea if the tax rate of a retail property including its parking is different than that of simply a parking lot.

- Unless you install an access gate, how does (the city? the owner?) enforce it? I agree that some kind of mandatory database linkage between retail businesses and the government is a bad idea.

- Large footprint big box retailers like HD or Lowe's or any building centre would howl, and possibly challenge it, because having a vehicle is pretty much endemic to a significant part of their business.

- Any type of arbitrary cut-off in terms of number of spaces to be exempt from charging of spaces would likely be challenged on terms of equality.

I'm sure there are some other thoughts that may come.
 
- I'm a mall or big box owner. I bought the land to support the business of my tenants. I pay the mortgage plus the land taxes, and now the government gets a piece of it?

That describes all forms of taxation. The government gets a piece of it.
That's true when you work for a living, to a lesser degree when you invest.
Its true at the gas pump, when you buy booze, or most goods/services.
This would simply be a different form.

In this form, its an incentive structure to reduce the absolute amount of parking, and shift more customers/staff to walking/cycling/transit.

I have no idea if the tax rate of a retail property including its parking is different than that of simply a parking lot.

Commercial Property Tax rates in Toronto are just above 2x the single family residential rate.
They were once 4x the SFH rate, so they've been roughly halved over the last generation.

Tax rates in Toronto are competitive with surrounding jurisdictions on commercial properties.

- Unless you install an access gate, how does (the city? the owner?) enforce it?

Green P (surface) lots don't typically have access gates, neither does the paid parking at The Brickworks.
If you don't pay, your subject to civil liability, and/or being towed.

- Large footprint big box retailers like HD or Lowe's or any building centre would howl, and possibly challenge it, because having a vehicle is pretty much endemic to a significant part of their business.

The City actually has the statutory right to preclude all parking. The same statutory power to set a parking minimum allows for a parking maximum; which, by the way, Toronto employs.
It could, in theory, just set the maximum number of spaces to zero. (it shouldn't, and it won't, but I'm pointing out that Toronto already governs the amount of parking a business may offer)

- Any type of arbitrary cut-off in terms of number of spaces to be exempt from charging of spaces would likely be challenged on terms of equality.

The small business tax rate has an arbitrary gross income cut-off, OAS is taxed back at an arbitrary annual income, the requirement is that government show a logical policy reason and then apply that policy equally accordingly. But there is no requirement for government to treat all businesses the same. Groceries are exempt from the HST, as are Children's clothes. But adult clothing is not. Fast Food Combos under $4 don't pay the PST portion of HST, while those over $4 do.

None of these have been challenged.
 
That describes all forms of taxation. The government gets a piece of it.
That's true when you work for a living, to a lesser degree when you invest.
Its true at the gas pump, when you buy booze, or most goods/services.
This would simply be a different form.

In this form, its an incentive structure to reduce the absolute amount of parking, and shift more customers/staff to walking/cycling/transit.



Commercial Property Tax rates in Toronto are just above 2x the single family residential rate.
They were once 4x the SFH rate, so they've been roughly halved over the last generation.

Tax rates in Toronto are competitive with surrounding jurisdictions on commercial properties.



Green P (surface) lots don't typically have access gates, neither does the paid parking at The Brickworks.
If you don't pay, your subject to civil liability, and/or being towed.



The City actually has the statutory right to preclude all parking. The same statutory power to set a parking minimum allows for a parking maximum; which, by the way, Toronto employs.
It could, in theory, just set the maximum number of spaces to zero. (it shouldn't, and it won't, but I'm pointing out that Toronto already governs the amount of parking a business may offer)



The small business tax rate has an arbitrary gross income cut-off, OAS is taxed back at an arbitrary annual income, the requirement is that government show a logical policy reason and then apply that policy equally accordingly. But there is no requirement for government to treat all businesses the same. Groceries are exempt from the HST, as are Children's clothes. But adult clothing is not. Fast Food Combos under $4 don't pay the PST portion of HST, while those over $4 do.

None of these have been challenged.

The 'tax vs. fee' debate.

The issue of Green P lots I suppose is the point I was trying to make. As far as I know, the Parking Authority doesn't enforce parking on private property (that they do not lease). So would this be a change of authority for the city - which could viewed as an effective form of expropriation - or would the property owners be expected to police it?

Anyway, all good stuff. Time to install a houseful of new appliances!

Edit to clarify: I mean to say 'a form of effective expropriation' or, put another way, constructive expropriation.
 
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Cross-posting here from the zoning reform thread, since this straddles the topics of parking and zoning: the city is proposing removing almost all parking minimums across the city. Lots more info in the zoning reform thread:
 
Ahh Walnut St parking. Between that and Wellington St. I used to be able to drive to work and park for the day for free, especially the Wellington St. parking as it was 3hr parking (i.e. not enforced). There would be days when I would carpool with a co-worker and we would park there prior to the bike lanes going in and removing that parking.

Wellington was the last 3hr zone left in the greater downtown area from my understanding.

Walnut St was an alternate but it's a 1hr zone so it was riskier.
 

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