This video answers some of the common questions we receive about the congestion levy.
What is the congestion levy?
The congestion levy was introduced in 2005, to reduce congestion and encourage increased use of public transport in the Melbourne CBD. The congestion levy is an annual charge that is levied each calendar year on all non-exempt, off-street parking spaces within the levy boundary area. It is a self-assessing levy, meaning the information used to assess the levy in relation to the number of parking spaces and their usage is advised by the customer to the SRO.
As part of the state budget for 2013-14, the Victorian Government announced that the congestion levy boundary would be expanded to include a new category 2 area from the 2015 year.
Refer to the SRO website for a detailed map and descriptions of the category 2 levy area.
Which parking spaces does the levy apply to?
The levy applies to all non-exempt, off-street parking spaces in both public and private car parks used for parking motor vehicles within the levy area. Refer to the SRO website for a full list of the exemptions and detailed descriptions for each.
Who is liable?
In the case of a private car park, the owner is the liable party. In the case of a public car park – both the owner and the operator of the car park are jointly and severally liable. In all cases the liable parties may pass on the levy to the end users of the space.
What are the levy rates?
For the 2015 year, there are 2 different rates for the levy, depending on the category that you are in – category 1 spaces attract a levy of $1340 and category 2 spaces attract a levy of $950. Levy amounts are released on the SRO website in November each year.
How is the levy assessed?
The annual congestion levy assessment is based on the number of spaces that existed in the previous year.
How is the levy assessed for category 2 spaces?
In the case of the category 2 customers – in this first transition year a registration process will replace the receipt and lodgement of the annual return. Customers are required to register with the SRO using an online form, and provide an estimate of the number of spaces for the 2015 year. It is only in this first year that an estimate will be used to raise the assessment.
The registration process for category 2 customers is nice and simple. A link is provided on the SRO website to a registration form – which is then lodged completely online. If any of the spaces are exempt under the legislation, you would simply indicate the number of exempt spaces under the relevant exempt category in the relevant section of the registration form.
Even if all the parking spaces are exempt, lodgement of the registration form is still required.
Remember, as the congestion levy is self-assessing, the SRO takes the information that you provide to be true and correct. Be sure to maintain detailed records of the exempt purpose (especially if the space is used by someone else, and they are claiming the exemption). In this case, there is a particular form that the end user of the space can fill out and return to the owner for their records.
To access the registration form, visit sro.vic.gov.au/car-parks and follow the prompts. If you have any questions, please visit our website for comprehensive and detailed information. Or alternatively give us a call on 13 21 61.