CITY property owners are stuck with their big annual parking bay fees.
Activate Perth had petitioned the McGowan government to delay this year’s levy and spend some of the $130 million accruing in the levy account to benefit city businesses which have been hammered by Covid-19.
But premier Mark McGowan says the government can’t legally suspend, waive or refund the levy; even if it’s to help struggling businesses.
“However, I can advise that the government has agreed that there will be no increase to the Perth Parking Levy in 2020-21 given the current economic challenges facing WA businesses,” Mr McGowan wrote to Activate Perth.
The problem is it’s a zero per cent increase on a figure that skyrocketed in previous years: Rather than inching upwards by CPI, some years the PPL has more than doubled. It started as $70 per bay in 1999, and has increased by 1570 per cent since then to average around $1170.
Activate Perth chair Di Bain says she’s “hugely disappointed”, saying it was “more evidence that the state government is not familiar with the specific issues affecting businesses in the city”.
Ms Bain, who’s planning to run for lord mayor in October, says the state-appointed commissioners currently running the City of Perth have been too quiet on the issue.
She says if elected; “I’ll lobby for the state government to rework how it charges this levy, why it charges it, and why it keeps increasing the levy.
“I will be demanding to know where every single dollar of the levy is spent.”
Mr McGowan’s letter said the Department of Transport had pushed back the due date for fee bays by three months to the end of September “to assist businesses and land owners with cash flow”.
By DAVID BELL