Annapolis plans new tax to ease parking crunch

January 08, 2004|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

THE 1 PERCENT TAX — Annapolis officials will seek state permission to impose a three-year food and beverage tax to pay for parking improvements in the traffic-choked state capital, city officials said yesterday.

The 1 percent tax -- a dime on a $10 restaurant tab -- would bring in about $1.5 million each year, Annapolis officials estimate, and would pay for contracted valet parking services, more buses and expanded water taxi programs.

"Our goal is to move people inside the city ... but not create more parking problems," said Mayor Ellen O. Moyer.

State legislators would need to grant Annapolis permission to create the tax, which would be tacked onto an existing state restaurant levy, but the city council would have to craft and approve the necessary legislation.

The city's plan is based on a similar scheme used in Ocean City.

During the legislative session that starts next week, Annapolis leaders also plan to ask the state for a $350,000 state bond bill to renovate the Eastport fire station and financial help to bury utility lines and for brick sidewalks near the State House.

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