Let the People Pay in Coral Gables

The Mayor has an important message.

There is a principle in public finance called “benefits received,” in which people who get the benefits should pay the full costs.

We should pay not only the true cost of parking, but the cost of refuse and solid waste collection, using the swimming pool, playing golf and tennis, using the highways, using the parks, using the hotel or restaurant, using water to irrigate our lawns, etc.  Taxpayers should not have to subsidize their neighbors.

Of course, as a community, we must pay for social safety nets and other social benefits and common or public goods like fire and police protection that benefit the entire community, as well as the individual.

We don’t want firefighters to be checking to see if we paid the fire fee before putting out the flames, since our neighbors also benefit by putting out the fire.  Some of the cost may be paid, for example, for fire fees and emergency ambulance services, but their should be a limit to this.

“In this new age of challenged tax revenue, the fact is people keep yelling they want cities to act like businesses,” said Donald Slesnick, mayor of Coral Gables, where starting Monday drivers must pay for an extra two hours of metered parking as well as on Sundays. “We’re starting to act more like a business in terms of pay as you go.”

via Pay as you stop: Parking costs going up – Miami-Dade – MiamiHerald.com.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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