Nottingham-based employers face car parking tax

Employers in Nottingham who provide car parking spaces for staff could be taxed on each place if plans for a workplace parking levy (WPL) go ahead.

The tax will apply to organisations that have more than ten parking spaces, which make up about 20-30% of the city’s employers. Employers who are liable will have the choice to pay the tax themselves but are expected to pass the cost onto staff. Nottingham City Council is currently in the final stages of consultation regarding the scheme.

By 2010, it is envisaged that each workplace parking space will cost employers £185 per year, rising to £350 by 2014. Nottingham City Council expect that the levy will generate £12m per year. This will be invested in public transport measures such as improving the city’s rail and tram services.

The levy will only affect commuters, so people travelling in the city for school runs and shopping will not be required to pay. Fleet vehicles that are left on an organisation’s premises overnight will be exempt from the tax.

The WPL has been chosen by Nottingham City Council over a congestion charge scheme, similar to London, because only 10% of the income received from the WPL will be lost in operation costs compared to 40-50% lost in operation costs in London. The WPL is also thought to be cheaper and easier to organise than London’s congestion charge and will be initiated under the Transport Act 2000.

A spokesperson from Nottingham City Council said: “As commuters are the main cause of congestion in Nottingham, the council believes that it is only fair that businesses accept their responsibility, as the major employers, and proactively manage the traffic going to and from their employment sites and contribute in public transport alternatives to the car. Ultimately, businesses will benefit from less congestion and employees will gain better public transport options.”