It’s important that the government of Waterloo Region treats its employees fairly and respectfully. But it’s even more important for this municipal government to make its top priority, and show its greatest consideration to, the region’s taxpayers.
To their credit, most regional councillors showed such consideration this week when they voted to phase out free employee parking by the end of 2014, two years earlier than staff recommended.
The public had reason to resent this perk. It wasn’t free for them. After a 2007 Canada Revenue audit declared parking at six regional buildings was a taxable benefit, local taxpayers wound up paying $1.4 million in outstanding taxes owed by regional employees. And taxpayers have covered the benefit ever since.
There is no good reason for the public to foot such a bill. Regional employees should pay for their own parking. Period. Last year, council agreed and voted to ditch the perk. Now it will bid good riddance to the free parking for staff even earlier, for eventual savings to the public of about $800,000 a year.
The 1,050 regional employees who will be out of pocket for their parking will, understandably, be displeased. But the other 550,000 people in this region who will no longer foot this bill have something to cheer. Good for council.
Came across this article recently. After reading it, the article made me think about City of Richmond’s “Taj Mahal ” aka Richmond City Hall and its on – site parking for City Staff.
If you are not familiar, the City has what could be deemed a secured underground Parking Lot at City Hall. It is located below the large open plaza North of the City Hall Building, and the Entrance/Exit is located at the West Side via an alley that comes off of Granville Ave..
One day I walked down a set of stairs that lead to the underground parking.In the stair well was a City Staff member smoking a cigarette and asking what I was doing? I said “…isn’t there public parking down here ?” She looked at me like I was nuts….and said “No , parking is for staff only“
Unlike other secured parking, this is particularly secure, quite high end. There is an indoor stairway to access it and it has a large roll -up door at the entrance/ exit. One has to swipe a card in order to enter. So, we the taxpayers are paying for a Cadillac of dry secure car parking for staff. Outside parking at City Hall for the Public has (2) hour limits.
My spouse has to pay approx $100 per month for on – site parking at work, and there is a 20% Transit Tax charged as well.
As the article above notes…parking is a Taxable Benefit . Canada Revenue deemed it as such, but at the time the cowardly Gov’t used taxpayers $$$ to pay for the benefit. That is Unfair, and that Council ditched the perk. Now the spoiled Gov’t workers in that area have to pay for their parking….
THUS, I am going to submit this question to Richmond City Hall. I won’t make accusations until I get an answer, but my suspicions are that , since City Hall opened in 2000, the evidence is this parking was a free perk, given the gravy train City hall tends to be for Staff.