It’s either parking or rates, says Wellington City Council.
Council officers are proposing a 50 cents an hour increase in city parking fees, which they say have not increased for 13 years.
A report by the council’s revenue and finance working party recommends establishing a new hourly fee of $4.50 per hour for parking within the CBD – up from the current rate of $4.
The increase would create $548,000 in additional revenue and, if it was not implemented, it would translate to a 0.2 per cent increase on rates, the report shows.
I’m not against parking fees going up. Arguably they should increase even more. But you shouldn’t be increasing them as a way to avoid a rates increase. They should be set at a level that reflects the value of the space they take up. In other words user pays.
CBD space is very valuable. So maybe a shop side park should cost $6 an hour. People could then choose to pay it, or use public transport or Uber. But the correct figure should be an economic decision, not so much a political one. Parking rates should be set the same as commercial rentals – what the market price is.