The Washington State Legislature recently passed legislation that increased funding for transportation purposes. The new law allowed for several local option taxes, including a commercial parking tax. The objectives of this measure were not only to help local jurisdictions raise revenues, but also to provide them with a transportation demand management tool. The Washington State Transportation Center will conduct an evaluation of the new law. The research approach is outlined, including a description of the new legislation, the potential impacts of its implementation, and a process that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of various alternatives. Because no jurisdiction in Washington has adopted a parking tax based on the legislation, it is premature to conduct an evaluation of its transportation demand management effects. The new law has characteristics that make it different from those enacted in other localities. First, the law is flexible enough to give local jurisdictions freedom to decide on the type of tax to impose and how to impose it. Second, the new law allows local jurisdictions to apply the tax to all parking, even if it is supplied with a lease of nonresidential space and if no fee is charged for the use of the parking spaces. A third distinctive element of the tax is flexibility in charging the tax for different types of use. A fourth unique aspect of the law is that the revenue collected must be used for transportation purposes. Two important sets of legal issues concerning implementation of the parking tax are discussed. The first set is concerned with whether the tax is construed as a property tax or an excise tax. In Washington constitutional questions must be addressed if it is considered a property tax. The second set of issues concerns the definition of a reasonable distinction in charging differential rates.

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 31-35
  • Monograph Title: Finance, planning, programming, economic analysis, and land development 1991
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00621745
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309051150
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1992 12:00AM