As Parking Rates Rise Again, Carol Moseley Bruan Vows to Break Lease
January 3, 2011-- As parking meter rates increase for the 3rd time since being sold, mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun is calling for the cancellation and renegotiation of the city’s parking meter deal that has left Chicagoan’s feeling ripped off and at the mercy of the financial giant. Moseley Braun plans to use her legal experience to break the contract and return the parking meter revenue to the city’s taxpayers. Today, parking meter rates will increase to $5.00 an hour downtown, the 3rd increase since the meters were sold in 2008. Chicago now holds the title of the country’s most expensive city for parking.
The City of Chicago entered into a 75-‐year lease with a private company led by the investment bank Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners with holdings from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Allianz Capital Partners. In exchange for a $1.157 billion payment, Morgan Stanley will collect all the revenue from the city’s 36,000 parking meters for the next 75 years. The total amount of revenue projected to be collected over the next 75 years is more than $11 billion, according to Bloomberg News, generating a projected profit for Morgan Stanley, Abu Dhabi and Allianz of $9.58 billion. Morgan Stanley received $10 billion in TARP federal bailout funds.
Moseley Braun has been at the forefront of the fight against the parking meter mess, taking the most aggressive stand of all mayoral candidates by calling for the lease to be cancelled and renegotiated and even launching a website and petition drive at www.takebackourquarters.com.
"This is a classic investment bank rip-‐off of the people of Chicago. I won't stand for it. Morgan Stanley and the other investment banks got billions worth of our quarters for only $1 billion. We want our money back, and if elected Mayor, I'm going to cancel this deal," said Senator Carol Moseley Braun, who served on the Senate's Banking and Finance Committees is also an attorney.
In addition, the hourly rates will increase dramatically (as much as 400%). All the extra money from the parking meters will go to Morgan Stanley, not the City of Chicago. On top of that, as part of the Morgan Stanley deal, drivers must pay the meters more days of the week and more hours of every day.
"Not only are the rates too high, but now they want us to pay to park on Sundays? And in some streets, they want us to pay 24 hours a day? All so that Morgan Stanley, Abu Dhabi and Allianz can take our money? After I cancel this deal, I will roll back some of the worst parking hikes, especially in the neighborhoods," said Senator Braun.
If the deal continues in its current form Chicagoans can expect another rate hike on January 1st, 2012.