WACO, Texas – The Waco Regional Airport has never charged for parking, but this could all change.
The City says charging a fee to park at the airport would keep taxpayers from footing the bill for a service they may not use.
“What we are basically looking at is user-based fees. Those who use a service, should pay for it,” says City of Waco spokesperson Larry Holze.
This means if you do not visit the airport on a daily basis, you should not have to pick up the tab.
“Waco has had free parking at the airport, and that has been a big asset. A big selling point. But the reality is, the fact that as costs go up, it sometimes may be something that we can generate some new revenue to offset the costs of a lot of what we do to operate an airport,” Holze says.
The Airport Advisory Board is in talks right now to charge a fee to park at the airport per day.
“People don’t like change. We’ve given the advantage of free parking, and everybody is used to that,” Holze says.
Free parking is one of the reasons why people love it so much.
On Facebook, one person wrote, “So much easier than a drive to DFW and no parking fee.” Another wrote, “The Waco Airport is the best regional airport in America. Besides the free parking and clean modern facilities, the airport, airline and the TSA staff are wonderful.”
“The state has put some restrictions on the amount of money that we can collect on taxes in the future. And so, cities are going to have to be creative. And that’s what we are going, we are trying to be creative in finding out ways to increase the revenue in comparison to the tax base that we have turned to before that a cap will be placed on,” Holze says.
After the advisory board recommends the fee to City Council, then you will have a say on the final vote.
“A user-based fee is really the most fair, just like sales tax, is the best taxing method. If you don’t want to pay taxes, don’t buy anything,” Holze adds.
Right now, it’s just a discussion. It could be months before the board makes a recommendation, and even longer before the City Council takes any kind of action.