by Max Brantley
The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is going to increase parking fees by 8.5 percent, thus adding the state and local sales tax to parking fees rather than absorbing the taxes in the rate.
April 1, the peanuts lot will go from $8 to $8.68, for example. The most expensive parking, in the valet lot, will rise from $16 to $17.35 a day. The increases will reap the airport $770,000 annually based on recent experience, more than enough to pay airport director Ron Mathieu's 4 percent pay raise and $30,000 bonus. The airport may not yet be back to passenger load of a decade ago, but the money keeps rolling in.
However: The sometimes problematic checkout at the airport seems destined to get even more problematic with more involved change-making for those who pay with cash, not credit cards.
So my question: Can a "round off" of these new odd rates be far behind? Make that peanut lot $9 and the valet lot $18, for example. (They'd kindly absorb the additional sales tax on the rate increase, of course.)
Remember when Cokes went from a nickel to six cents, briefly, back in the pleistocene age? Wasn't long before the vending machines did away with the penny add-on slot and went to a solid dime.
UPDATE: The airport says it is "not planning" a parking rate increase.
Why quibble. Your pay went up 8.5 percent last year, didn't it?