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Parking Operators Owe the City Nearly $100 Million

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As the city explores ways to sell the operation of public parking garages to private companies for 50 years--the city council today unanimously approved a move to further develop these plans--a recent report listing the top debtors reveals that parking operators owe the city close to $100 million in uncollected taxes.

"You want to solve the budget problem, let's get their money!" screamed Councilmember Richard Alarcon during the city council meeting this morning. "They're ripping us off!"

The city is currently $208 million in the red and is considering over 1,000 layoffs yet nearly half of that money could come from parking operators, which equal 15 of the 172 highest debtors to the city. Number one on the list is Prestige Parking, which has been in trouble with the city in the past--they owe over $72 million in taxes to Los Angeles, according to a Office of Finance report (.pdf) released last week. Parking operators make up positions two and three on the list, too, each owing around $7 million. In fact, 9 of the top 13 debtors are parking operators.

City staff, however, warned councilmembers that when going after debtors, there's a chance that not all money will be recovered. Any proposals to lease city parking garages from delinquent parking operators will be denied.