Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) may propose doubling residential parking permit fees as he attempts to close a $185 million budget shortfall before he leaves office Jan. 2, according to administration officials.
Fenty is currently crafting his plan to close a shortfall in the current year's budget, which recently ballooned from $175 million to $185 million, so the council can review it before it adjourns in late December.
Although many expected Fenty's proposal would be released this week, administration officials now say they now do not expect it to be completed until early next week. The reason, officials say, is the mayor and City Administrator Neil Albert are still trying to finding a few extra million dollars in savings. They asked to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
The mayor plans to achieve most of the savings through spending reductions, officials say. But the administration is also eying some revenue increases, including an increase in residential parking fees.
Currently, District car owners pay $15 annually to receive a permit sticker allowing them to park in their neighborhood without having to adhere to time limits. In addition to raising an undisclosed amount of money, increasing the fee to $30 could further the Fenty administration' goal of encouraging more residents to embrace mass transit.
Last year, Fenty proposed raising the fee to $25, but the council did not include it in their final version of the budget, according to council staffers. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, said he would be open to discussing a possible increase this year. But with Fenty's proposal still being refined, officials caution it's still not certain whether the final budget document will call for the increase.