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Santa Barbara City Council votes to move parking costs to another fund

Parking fund moves should prevent parking price hikes

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-The Santa Barbara City Council will not be raising parking fees, any time soon, to cover its parking lot losses.

Parking lots currently operate under an enterprise fund that must cover costs.

But Santa Barbara staff proposed another way to keep parking services going without raising fees.

Today council members voted 6-1 to direct city staff to move its current parking fund..

Oscar Gutierrez was the only no vote.

City Finance Director Keith DiMartini said a majority of council members like the parking fund option the city staff presented.

"What the city council is directing staff to do is consider transferring that entire function to be under the General Fund umbrella so that means it would potentially be supported by some sort of tax revenue such as sales tax or property tax because there are certain functions that are general fund type functions such as sidewalk cleaning and Street cleaning other areas around downtown parking," said DiMartini.

Downtown Parking is projected to end the Fiscal Year 2025 with a negative reserve balance of $3.87 million.

DiMartini said parking patterns changed during COVID.

More people are now working at home and more people are shopping online.

Council Members are still considering plans to extend the maximum parking space time limits.

The city is hoping people will park and spend more time downtown without services suffering.

Staff will bring their plan back for a final vote in the weeks to come.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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