Free parking for Tea Party?

April 20, 2011
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Free parking for Tea PartyThe Indianapolis Tea Party has asked the city to waive the parking bill for its April 15 "Tax Day Rally" at the Indiana Statehouse. Members of the group parked in metered spaces closed off to public parking by "emergency order" of the Indianapolis Police Department.

Without a waiver from the Board of Public Works, the group would have to pay $450, or $15 per meter per day for the 30 meters it reserved along Washington Street, said DPW spokeswoman Molly Deuberry.

Nonprofit groups are eligible to apply for the waiver. The groups submit requests to the Special Events Office within the Department of Code Enforcement, which forwards its recommendation to the Board of Public Works.

The Board of Public Works will consider the Tea Party parking meter waiver at 1 p.m. April 27 in the second-floor Public Assembly Room of the City-County Building.

This year, parking meter waivers have gone to the Indiana Blood Center for its blood drives, the first annual Iwo Jima memorial service, the Big Ten Basketball Tournament, the St. Patrick's Day Parade and an open house for the FDIC firefighter training conference, records show.

Union groups that rallied at the Statehouse in March did not request or receive a meter waiver.

Deuberry said the Tea Party event is the first time in memory a politically minded group characterized as a nonprofit has applied for a parking meter waiver. She noted groups typically request bagged meters so they can use the public space for an event, not to provide protected parking for their members, although both uses are allowed.

The city can bag each parking meter for up to 19 days per year under its meter privatization deal with ACS. After that, the city must reimburse ACS for lost meter revenue.

To read the meter waiver application and proposed Board of Public Works resolution, click here.

UPDATE: The Board of Public Works has denied the Tea Party request.

  • Interesting Look Inside
    I just appreciate getting to see the process for closing down 30 parking meters for the day. It's fascinating how much paper and effort it takes as well as how many people have to be involved. This is not a criticism; I just hadn't thought about such a thing before.
  • So...
    People from a political group opposed to government spending are asking for a government handout?

    This kind of defines "hypocritical", or in the modern political jargon, "bad optics".
  • hypocritical Tea Totters
    How dare the Tea Party even to think that they deserve special attention and privileges. This goes to show that the Tea Party is only about "WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME" and special interests, THEIR OWN. If this is just a bunch of bunk and hypocritical loud mouths, then nothing else is.
    • Politics or development?
      I don't mean to sound rude, but what does the Tea Party and their attempt at free parking have to do with development news? Is this a discussion about real estate and development or national politics?
    • Responding
      Hoosier - Fair question. I've got two answers. There's no denying parking is an important issue for downtown real estate. Every development or lease deal has parking as a factor. It's a hot topic for those of us who work or visit downtown and have to pay to park. Secondly, blogs by definition give the author some discretion to explore topics of interest and share information. I stumbled on the topic of meter waivers, researched how they are awarded and wrote about it. I'm glad to see the story already has generated some discussion. Thanks for reading.
    • Speaks for itself
      This is really funny...the Tea Party wants a handout...I hope the city doesn't grant them a waiver. Hypocritical in the funniest sense of the word...I am not surprised, based on the few experiences I have had with people who idnetify themselves with the group that they would not be capable of grasping the irony...
      • Strange that it's newsworthy
        Despite the irony some are finding in the request, let me pause to compare this lawful request for an allowance to a different arena most of us are familiar with: Taxes. Let's just say, for the moment, that a particular group is lobbying to reduce a tax break on a particular group of taxpayers (for the sake of the argument, let's say it's "rich people"). Then let's say that the system has not (yet) responded in a positive way to their demands (rich people still get the same 'tax break' as in previous years). Then let's say some of those protesters actually are a subset of those people defined as 'rich' -- would you be as upset about them as you are about the Tea Party people, if these 'rich' people took lawful advantage of a tax break that they were protesting against? (Of course not...)
      • Tea Party
        The Tea Party is part of the political process whether leftist like it or not. First,they oppose excess taxation and I do not see parking as a related issue. Plus, they will be eating and spending money elsewhere while exercising their right of freedom of speech. That helps out the city and business. It is so funny how people participating in democracy strike a nerve with some of you lefties.
      • Oh

        Thank you for the clarification.
      • 500 Parade & Mini Marathon
        Sounds like the city has used up all the 19 days allowed by ACS before they need to start paying them extra money.
      • so sad
        IBJ should give you a second chance to formulate your comments. That way you wouldn't be forced with having this embarrassment hanging out there for all to see.
      • Classic......
        Og course the "Tea Party" wants to waive parking fees. Why should they be subject to a law that has been in place. If they were so adverse to this fee, they could have taken a bus and not worried about parking, except they hate urban efficiencies and the bus is for people not like them (aka poor) so they couldn't have that. Seems like a real lack of planning on their part......sounds like a good group of politicians.
      • Hey Jim
        So you think the city shouldn't waive the parking fees for any non-profit you oppose ? Isn't that hypocritical ?

        "I hope the city doesn't grant them a waiver. Hypocritical in the funniest sense of the word"
      • Parking Questions
        This actually brings several important questions.

        Did the city negotiate a parking deal with ACS that serves taxpayers and downtown businesses well?

        Is the city already paying penalties for closed meters due to city events and construction after only 3 months?

        Has ACS lived up to its obligations on implementation of new parking meters and service quality?
      • Doesn't Make Sense
        Fee for Service. Someone has to build and maintain the parking and it should be paid for by the people who use it, or else "the government" will have to pay for it out of more general taxing.
      • Not a 501C(3)
        To provide a little clarity, the Tea Party group isn't a 501C(3)because it's an advocacy group.

        Consideration for waiving parking fees should be limited to 501C(3) organizations.

        It should not receive free parking and should have to reimburse the City for the bagged meters.
      • ....
        Oh, beautiful irony.
      • hmm
        The Tea Party still exists...?
      • Not a Non-Profit
        Unless this particular tea party group is an actual non-profit (which is what the ordinance requires), they should not be approved. If they are approved by the Board of Public Works, it should be challenged because they are most likely not a legally-qualified entity under the code.

        I know this process very well, and unless the tea partiers can produce a 501(c)(3) verification up front, they should never have even gotten in the door on a waiver.
      • Update
        The board has denied the Tea Party request.

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