Whoops! Update from Sick Transit– RTA can tax only fee offstreet parking, and would have to eliminate its sales tax to do so. Still might not be a bad move…
Earlier post was:
Yes, the RTA has authority to impose and collect a parking tax, per 70 ILCS 3615/4.03 . As one commenter stated at Sick Transit Chicago, RTA chose “a service meltdown over exercising the authority it does have” to tax parking.
I don’t consider a parking tax the best way to fund transit, as its economic objectives could be more efficiently obtained thru a land tax. But it’s better than a sales tax, and it’s already authorized. If RTA’s main purpose were to support and improve public transportation, this would have been done.