How to build a parking garage and reduce the municipal tax rate


Click on the image to read a letter from Jim Bennett, former city manager of Lewiston. Now the city manager of Presque Isle, Bennett offers compelling data about the benefits that downtown parking provides.


Don’t laugh — it’s been done.

Tomorrow night, Thursday, March 15, Biddeford is holding a public meeting, at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council chambers. A Portland architect will present different ideas for building a parking garage in the downtown district. In the previous decade, Lewiston built three parking garages, and here’s what former city manager Jim Bennett reports for “value” that was directly created as a result.

907,025 square feet of new or redeveloped space
1,163 new jobs created
871 jobs retained
$223,755,000 of new investment
$1,326,848 of new annual property taxes being paid in the area

CITYWIDE, including number above:
2,702,710 square feet of new or redeveloped space
2,497 new jobs created
1,194 jobs retained
$3,386,498 in new annual property taxes paid

Downtown Biddeford and downtown Lewiston have a lot in common. Bennett reports that due to the value created, Lewiston’s tax rate decreased. That may not happen here, but as Biddeford proceeds, remember that naysayers will talk only about costs. An objective analysis, however, will also consider real economic growth that offsets or more than offsets costs, using real-world examples and actual data when doing so. If you would like to read the full text of Jim Bennett’s letter, CLICK THIS LINK.