The West Australian State Government decided last week to make inner-city churches exempt from paying the Perth parking levy. The exemption will apply from next financial year, but stopped short of providing reimbursement for the parking levies paid in 2010-11.
Other Perth based charity groups, church-affiliated bodies, and other not-for-profit organisations have requested that the levy exemption be extended to entities providing community services.
According to Property Council of WA executive director Joe Lenzo, the levy is a discriminatory tax on premises located in the CBD. The basis for the levy (at least in theory) is to reduce congestion in the CBD and therefore applying it to other areas where there is less efficient public transport and greater land availability for parking would not make sense.
Which organizations or property owners should be exempt is an interesting question, considering for example that in NSW the levy exempts shopping centres in category 2 locations (eg. Chatswood, Parramatta)!