A little good news about prices, which always seem to go up here in October because that is when this town's biggest industry -- the Uncle Sam factory -- gives out pay raises to its 300,000 white collar workers.
The good news is that thousands of federal commuters here will not have to continue to pay to park, for awhile because of the slated 9.1 percent raise.
U.S. employes now pay about half the equivalent commercial rate (as fixed by the General Services Administration) to park at the office. That resulted from a presidential directive that said feds ought to start paying for spaces they formerly got free. (The pay parking order irked many because it does not cover thousands of reserved spots on Capitol Hill nor does it affect reserved spots around the White House).
Some agencies are exempt from the pay parking -- either because of inadequate public transportation or their remote location, but most federal drivers now pay, anywhere from $10 to $40 per month to park. The average fee is about $12, for the 30,000 spaces here under pay parking.
On Tuesday this column advised that there probably would be no parking increase this year -- although fees will double for many in October 1981. Now that is official. The Office of Management and Budget has informed department and agency heads that three is no plan to increase rates for parking this year.
The other shoe will drop in October 1981. That is the date President Carter has set for full commercial equivalent rates to go into effect. In other words if you pay $14 per month to park now, you probably will pay at least $28 for that space beginning in October 1981. You could wind up paying more, if commercial rates go up.
Many commercial parking firms in the metro area already have raised rates, thanks to newspaper publicity about the impending federal pay raise. Many others will raise parking fees in October and November, or the first of next year.