PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Owners of Philadelphia parking garages and lots mounted a full court press Wednesday at City Hall trying to convince City Council to lower the city’s parking tax.  They came away empty-handed, at least for now.

The city’s parking tax was raised four years ago to 20 percent, and now the local parking industry is pushing to have it gradually scaled back to the original rate of 15 percent.

Parking operators packed council chambers for the effort. Their lead witness was Rob Zuritsky of the Parkway Corporation.

“We know that many people don’t like parking companies,” Zuritsky admitted. “But that’s not a reason to make us an easy target of a 20 percent tax. Think about paying 20 percent tax on your next purchase — you would never go back to that store again!”

Zuritsky said the lost revenue could be reclaimed simply by having city auditors going after rouge parking lot operators who don’t pay taxes, but the Nutter Administration opposes rolling back the tax, and the committee put off a vote on the idea.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio