City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas will write to the Office of the Auditor General requesting an audit of the Perth Parking Fund following the State Government’s decision to increase the Perth Parking Levy by 1.75% for 2021/22.
The parking levy costs Perth businesses $40m a year and the new rate increase means they will now be paying $1189 per parking bay.
The City of Perth itself pays $17 million a year into the Fund and the 1.75% increase in the parking levy – which was announced without notice – will cost the City of Perth $378,244 in 2021/22.
Last month in a meeting with Premier Mark McGowan, Lord Mayor Zempilas asked for an audit of the Perth Parking Fund and a freeze on the parking levy while an audit was underway. Both requests were not supported by the State Government.
Lord Mayor Zempilas said the City of Perth Council has gone to great lengths to activate the City with a number of initiatives including family friendly events and three hour free parking on weekends.
“Our Council is working hard to activate our city and another increase in the Perth Parking Levy makes it more difficult for the City to incentivise people to come in and support our retailers,” he said.
“City of Perth small businesses and retailers are doing it tough and this increase in the parking levy does not make life any easier for them.
“We work hard on our parking strategies to encourage people to visit. More people means more activations, more vibrancy and ultimately a safer, friendlier and more prosperous city.
“The impost of the new 1.75% increase also means we have lost nearly $400,000 from our Budget that could have been spent on lighting, homelessness services, security or playgrounds. For every dollar that the city charges people for parking, 28 cents goes to the State Government for the Perth Parking Levy.
“An audit needs to be done so there is visibility and transparency about the size of the Perth Parking Fund and whether all of the money is being allocated to projects before it just gets topped up again through rate increases.
“We know in July 2020 there was already a balance of $95.5 million in the Perth Parking Fund even after a portion was earmarked for transport projects in the City Deal. But we don’t know what the balance is and where money is spent and this is why we need an audit.
“I speak on behalf of all nine City of Perth elected members in calling for an audit of the Perth Parking Fund.”
The City of Perth continually reinvests in its parking facilities, maintaining and updating amenities at car parks and rolling out new technology to make it easier for people to park.
The Property Council WA has also expressed their disappointment with the timing of the increase.
“It is frustrating that the rising cost of the levy is borne by businesses who are affected by the lack of international tourism, business travel, lockdowns and low office occupancy,” the Property Council WA said.