Congestion tax?

The recommendations of a taskforce established to close the ‘pay gap’ between New Zealand and Australia’s productivity levels by 2025 were published in New Zealand this week (our source is from the NZ Herald).The ‘2025 Taskforce’, headed by Don Brash, provided a range of recommendations on income tax, student loans and superannuation. Interestingly, it also recommended that congestion charges are established in key New Zealand cities, beginning with Central Auckland.

As evidenced from PCI’s blog posts this year, we support the concept of congestion taxes as a means to control traffic and parking demand in key areas, particularly if tied in with differentiated pricing based on vehicle CO2 emission levels as per the Milan model (refer to Cristina Lynn’s article including an analysis of Milan’s ECOPASS scheme in our blog post Traffic Congestion – Sydney’s Paradigm Paralysis). It will be interesting to track the reactions from New Zealand residents, particularly those in Auckland who would be directly affected should a congestion tax be
introduced.

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