Taibbi Still Wrong About NYC Parking Meters

New York City will lease out its parking meters.

Matt Taibbi wrote a post on June 13 strongly arguing against New York City leasing its parking meters. The piece was titled “New York to Repeat Chicago’s Parking Meter Catastrophe.” Felix Salmon shot back at Taibbi and I added a bit more to Salmon’s post as well. Now, it’s back to Taibbi:

“The city might get $11 billion in the deal, but if that’s even a dime less than the real present value of these parking meters (to say nothing of the actual amount of revenue that will be collected over the life of this arrangement), then to me that’s bad and shortsighted public policy.”

First of all, Taibbi’s first post assumed that the real present value of the parking meters must be a lot higher than $11 billion. He assumes the same in this piece as well:

“If $11 billion can do a lot of good, then I’m sure $20 billion or $25 billion – or whatever the investors buying into this deal end up calculating the real value of those meters is, and it’s surely more than $11 billion, or they wouldn’t be doing the deal in the first place – would do a lot more good.”

We don’t even know the length of the contract yet and Taibbi is jumping to conclusions that the state must be valuing it wrong. I admit that that is probably the case. States have never proven great at valuing their assets and selling them off, but New York is also determined to avoid repeating Chicago’s mistake when the city sold off its parking meters for dramatically less than they are worth. Continue reading “Taibbi Still Wrong About NYC Parking Meters”