As I watched the interview with Mr. Motznik, the highlight of his chatter was a comment that Motznik would, "liquidate the Parking Authority after becoming mayor."
Both parts of the statement by Motznik, (the liquidation and being mayor), are worthy blog bait.
Jim Motznik isn't running for mayor. He never has run for mayor. He has run for city council president and couldn't get a majority of nine to vote for him.
Would Mayor Motznik hire Michael Diven as his Denny Regan / Yarone Zober? Would Mayor Motznik call County Executive, Luke Ravenstahl, 'the boss?' Would Mayor Motznik call for more bailouts from Governor Dan Onorato?I doubt that Motznik would get far in his big-government circle with talk of liquidation.
For years, I've been saying that the Parking Authority should be liquidated. So, perhaps, Jim Motznik is reading from my playbook and the Platform.For-Pgh.org/wiki/. I love liquidation talk. However, there are important additional steps that I am promoting that I have yet to hear from Jim Motznik.
The gist of Motznik's interview was about keeping a high parking tax. The parking tax in Pittsburgh was elevated to 50% in the recent past. For example, if a $10 parking fee from a parking garage operator in the city gets joined by an additional tax of $5 for the city. The tax gets slapped on what the garage operator gets so that the total to the consumer is $15.00.
State laws have come into being from suburban legislatures that mandate lowering the parking tax. The bailout that the city got from the state required that the parking tax decrease. It was 50%. In 2007 it had to be 45%. In 2008 it is to go lower.
The city budget is out and the fight is about to get hot. The 5% drop in parking tax hurts the city about $3-million a year.
When talking liquidation, let's begin with the Parking Authority and move beyond.
I want to make liquidation talk happen without needing to be mayor first. Jim Motznik could introduce legislation to liquidate the Parking Authority as a member of city council.
But the kicker of my platform plank that wasn't mentioned by Mr. Motznik. I suggest that we drop the parking tax by large amounts as liquidation began and it would end up at 10% (or so) as full liquidation occurs.