Chicago set to make nation’s most expensive airport parking even costlier

Chicago is already home to some of the most expensive airport parking in the U.S. But a new plan from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would hike those costs even further.

On Nov. 1, the mayor introduced an ordinance to raise the cost of nearly all types of parking at O’Hare and Midway airports. It passed out of the Finance Committee Nov. 7.

A 2014 comparison from BestParking pegged airport parking at Midway and O’Hare as the most expensive in the nation.

Under Emanuel’s plan, Midway’s maximum hourly parking rates would jump to $50 per day from $46.75; daily rates to $32 from $24.75; and overflow parking to $11.50 from $5.50.

O’Hare’s hourly maximum per day would increase to $59 from $46.75; daily rates to $32 from $24.75; valet to $54 from $41.75; and overflow to $30 from $21.75. Parking rates at most remote lots also would increase.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the hikes would raise $4.3 million in parking tax revenue and $15 million for the airports, which operate under the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Many families and business travelers have tried to avoid these high costs by parking at off-site garages or in hotel lots. Recognizing this, the city in 2015 slapped a new 10 percent tax on parking companies and hotels offering cheaper spots near the two airports.

Chicago’s airfields have long been vehicles for cronyism, corruption and pay-to-play politics. The off-site parking business seems prone to similar controversy.

In December 2015, the Sun-Times reported that a client of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s property tax law firm was able to obtain a lucrative zoning change to allow a new private parking garage just blocks from Midway Airport.

The chair of the city board that approved the change, Jonathan Swain, in turn depended upon Madigan’s support in his successful bid to become a Chicago Board of Election Commissioner earlier this year.

Madigan’s 22nd House District includes Midway.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: fees, Madigan, Midway, O'Hare, parking, Rahm

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