There's One Little Thing Some Parking Lot Signs Neglect to Mention: 20 Percent in Taxes

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Not all parking lots are this honest
How many people realize that they're paying nearly 20 percent in taxes when they patronize a parking lot? Not me--until one day recently when I parked at a lot near Safeco Field that advertises a $7-a-day, early-bird rate. But as I popped my credit card into the machine, the screen told me that I'd instead be paying $8.37. How could that be? A close look at my receipt revealed that the city charges 10 percent in taxes, and the state 9.5 percent.

Turns out we've had these hefty taxes for some time, although the city rate went up in July from 7.5 percent, according to mayoral spokesperson Alex Fryer. The money is designated for transportation improvements. But many parking lots include those taxes in the rate they advertise - like the one at Pier 48 I parked at today. Others like the Diamond Parking lot near the stadium do not, suggesting a lower rate than is the case. Buyer beware.

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