New tax on workplace parking spaces proposed

Today's Times reports:

"Commuters face a £350 tax on workplace parking spaces in an attempt to encourage them out of their cars and on to public transport.

"The tax is being planned as an alternative to congestion charging because it is thought to be much cheaper and easier to collect. Nottingham City Council is the first local authority planning to introduce the tax. Eight other councils, including Devon County Council, are understood to be considering similar schemes.

"Under the Nottingham initiative, employers with more than ten parking spaces will have to pay the tax and most are expected to pass the cost on to staff."


On top of rising council tax, we now have the prospect of another local authority tax that will discourage business growth and raise more revenue. Let there be no illusions that this will replace a portion of council tax.


The experience of the introduction and increase of local authority parking charges in the 1990s suggests that any introduction of workplace parking taxes will not result in an equal and compensatory reduction in council tax:


    • In 2005 councils raised a record £1.2 billion from parking charges, an increase of 82 per cent over the amount nine years earlier.


  • Over the same period average council tax bills rose by 76 per cent.


The one consolation is that there may be fewer congestion charge schemes. But don't bet on it.

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