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New high for cost of city parking

PERTH’S commercial tenants will make a further contribution to the Central Area Transport (CAT) buses following yet another hike in the Perth parking levy.

Commercial tenants in the city pay a levy on car bays provided for staff – an annual fee that has increased by 110 per cent since the Gallop Government was elected.

It’s understood the parking levy was introduced to fund the CAT buses in the Perth CBD.

Property Council of WA chief executive officer Joe Lenzo said the parking levy was just another revenue grab by the Government.

“It was introduced in late 1998 at $70 per bay per annum,” Mr Lenzo said.

“Between then and now it has gone up to $150, so that’s more than double in a couple of years.

“It’s taxing employment in the city because it’s the tenants who have to bring their cars into the city for all sorts of reasons.”

The Property Council’s concerns about the parking levy are not just related to its rapid rise. There are also issues regarding the other city tenants that benefit from the CAT bus services, including retail.

“What we’ve got is just one sector of the CBD paying for the CAT buses,” Mr Lenzo said.

“If we’re going to fund something like this it should be funded out of consolidated revenue.”

Despite the current focus on stamp duty increases on residential property, another tax – the land tax increases in the Government’s 2001/2002 budget – will come into effect on July 1.

“The land tax that was included in the last budget, which was only handed down in September, will take effect on July 1, so it’s a double whammy for the industry,” Mr Lenzo said.

The group that will be most affected by the increase in land tax will be the retail property owners, including shopping centre owners.

“Some shopping centres are going to be paying an extra $80 to $100 per square metre on land tax alone,” Mr Lenzo said.

Property tax acts as deterrent to potential investment in WA, according to the Property Council of WA.

“When you look at investment here we don’t necessarily have the geographical spread in WA,” Mr Lenzo said.

“A number of investment funds have said they want about 15 per cent in WA but the taxes are very high and that’s why we’ve got 8 per cent.”

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