Business Sydney says a congestion tax on motorists coming into the still struggling CBD would be a big blow to the economic recovery of the former engine room of the state’s economy.
“We have been working hard to encourage workers and visitors into the CBD to get its mojo back after Covid and any plans to introduce a congestion tax goes against these efforts to aid economic recovery,” said Paul Nicolaou, Executive Director of Business Sydney.
“It is definitely not the time to be considering introducing another financial barrier to people entering our still-quiet city streets as businesses try to recover from years of Covid lockdowns.”
“People are already battling rising inflation and another cost would be a big disincentive to coming into the CBD while businesses also face rising costs due to staff shortages, supply chain issues & increasing government fees & charges.”
“The NSW Government already charges a $2,540 per year parking tax on every parking spot in the CBD and North Sydney and $900 per space in Bondi Junction, Chatswood, St Leonards and Parramatta.”
“This is along with the high costs of street parking and parking fines in the city that currently present a financial disincentive to those who might choose to drive into our city for health or convenience reasons.”
“It is one thing to try to get people back onto our public transport system but not at the expense of motorists who are already paying record fuel and insurance costs.”
“This proposed congestion or ‘travelling tax’ would be a further burden on business and the community, as we struggle to get feet back onto city streets.”
“One of the big hurdles to enticing workers to return to their city offices is the financial cost of commuting versus working from home. A congestion tax will only add to this and further discourage the much-needed return to offices for those who choose to or need to drive to work.”
“Along with the City of Sydney and state government we have been working constantly to encourage a positive change in attitudes around working in and visiting the CBD day and night, another tax on people is not the way to achieve this.”