Producers to pay for city’s lost street parking revenue?


The city and country have been on a sales tax frenzy, passing legislature to tax soda drinks, plastic bags and bottled water to help plug budget deficits. So what’s next?

Well, Ald. Brian Hopkins of the 2nd Ward sees dollars signs around parking meters. He wants the city to make film and TV productions pay for lost parking revenue when they park on city streets.

His ward encompases popular locations in Old Town, Wicker Park and Bucktown. And when there’s filming, Hopkins says, film vehicles multi-vehicle productions close off streets and take metered parking spots away from paying customers.

While construction companies are typically charged for lost street parking revenue when they shut down streets, street fairs and movie and TV productions are not.

Although Budget Director Alexandra Holt was already looking “quite extensively” at the idea, according to DNAInfo, you can stop fretting because it won’t happen. City Hall gets it how financially important the visual media industry is to the local economy.

As mayoral spokeswoman Molly Poppe said: “The administration will continue to work to balance the potential impact filming has on street closures without impacting the city’s ability to remain competitive and continue to attract filming to Chicago.”

As a footnote, NBC Universal expects to spend $150 million in Chicago this TV season alone, employing 1,300 people. And Cinespace reports that 24 TV shows and movies occupied their stages in 2016 – with one large-scale feature settled into offices for much location shooting staring early next year.