Second rate increase in 14 years to cost average user an additional 30 cents
The Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority (LFCPA) has announced the first parking meter rate increase since 2019 and the first meter enforcement hour change since 2008, when the LFCPA first started the LEXPARK program.
Starting January 3, 2023, rates will increase as follows:
Areas that are currently $0.50 per hour will now be $0.75 per hour
Areas that are currently $1.00 per hour will now be $1.50 per hour
Areas that are currently $1.50 per hour will now be $2.00 per hour
Meter enforcement hours will change from Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm, to Monday through Saturday, 9am – 9pm. LFCPA will continue to offer free parking all day on Sundays, and after 9pm.
The goals are multifaceted:
- Increase turnover on heavily parked streets, which will provide more convenience for drivers who will be able to park closer to their destination and ensure a steady flow of customers to downtown businesses; and
- Provide additional funds required to meet the new sales tax requirements set forth in House Bill 8 which mandates a 6 percent sales tax on parking services, including lots, garages, and meters. The estimated annual impact related to this tax for LFCPA is between $225,000 and $250,000.
Nearby metropolitan areas Louisville and Cincinnati charge $2.25/hour and $2.75/hour, respectively. The highest meter rates in the Lexington area will now be $2.00/hour, which puts Lexington at the same maximum rate as the University of Kentucky, Charleston, SC, Madison, WI, and Portland, ME. A survey of 30 cities of varying sizes nationwide showed only one city that does not enforce meters on Saturday.
“Paid parking is necessary when managing the use of the curb. This rate and hours adjustment will benefit downtown businesses by creating turnover of spaces and provide much-needed revenue to make ongoing safety improvements and technology upgrades.” said Gary Means, CAPP, executive director of the LFCPA. “Also, the Parking Authority cannot absorb the increased expense resulting from the new sales tax.”
Structural repairs, expensive preventative maintenance, and garage security are among the most critical needs for the additional funds. The cost of all these expenditures has increased in recent years.
The LFCPA, which maintains four garages and 1,208 metered spaces, receives no taxpayer funding. During the past five years, it has invested over $5.6 million in improvements to parking garages and technology to make parking more convenient for Lexington residents and visitors.