July 6, 2016
By Aaron Renn
Amost everyone agrees that Mayor Richard M. Daley's parking meter lease was an epic civic fiasco. But one bad deal shouldn't cause us to write off all long-term privatizations.
If Chicago's 2008 leasing venture was a disaster, former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Indiana Toll Road lease was the complete opposite.
Done right, privatization can be a boon.
Yet because very long-term deals are higher risk than shorter ones, great care must be taken in choosing the asset to privatize and managing the process well.
Chicago's 75-year parking meter lease is so bad that it's hard to know where to start.
The $1.2 billion deal was approved by the City Council after less than three days of review. It flopped right out of the gate when the vendor failed to empty meters overflowing with quarters. The city then proceeded to spend almost all of the lease money shoring up future budget deficits.
Read the full article at the Manhattan Institute: Privatization Winners, Losers: Indiana Toll Road vs. Chicago Parking Meters