REVERE — Some parking lots owners say if the proposed 1,400 percent licensing fee increase is approved, they will shut down.
Under the plan being considered by the three-member Licensing Commission, the per space fee paid by landlords would rise $1 a day to $365 annually. The annual rate today is $25.
“I ask you to rethink this,” said Daniel Donahue of the Comfort Inn & Suites Revere. “A $1 approach seems simple, seems realistic. But the impact that it has … we would close that lot.”
When pressed by the commission to explain why he would shutter the lot over $1 hike, Donahue said commuters won’t pay the increase and will find less expensive parking in East Boston.
Donahue was joined by other parking lot owners who opposed, what they called a dramatic increase in the fee.
Commissioner Linda Guinasso reminded owners that the fee has not been raised in 25 years. She said if the panel had issued increases every few years, the fee would be about what they are proposing.
“I understand and I sympathize … we are pro business,” she said. “But an increase is desperately needed on parking.”
Still, owners objected saying if regular increases had been routinely approved over the years, the rate would likely be $125 a year.
James Marcotte, manager at Select Parking Inc., said his company, which has 500 spaces, is facing a more than $100,000 increase in the licensing fee.
“That doesn’t make any sense … if I have to write a check for $110,000, I can tell you right now, that’s probably not going to happen,” he said. “I’ll bet you any money, there are lots of operators who will say for the amount of parking we do, we may not want to renew our license.”
Jean Geary, who offers 30 spaces at the former Club Caravan, said while she understands the commission wants to raise the fee, the proposed rate is excessive.
Al D’Amico, who owns the 176-space lot on Ocean Avenue, said he’s already being squeezed by a licensing fee of $4,400.
“Any additional cost to me will make the lot not profitable,” he said. “I don’t think the city wants to put me out of business.”
A Hampton Inn Revere executive said none of the operators are opposed to a modest increase.
“But the kind of an increase being proposed is mind-boggling,” he said.
The panel said they will take the remarks into consideration and make a final decision at their next meeting on July 18.