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Sub-let Sydney carparks could soon be taxed

Car space sharing apps, like Divvy, may soon be subject to the state's commercial carpark levy.

A tax on Sydneysiders who let out their empty car spaces has been slammed by the boss of the city's "AirBNB" of parking spaces.

Nick Austin, founder of carpark sharing start-up Divvy, said a proposed tax on leasing residential car spaces would drive up prices and make congestion worse.

"What is the benefit in making parking more expensive than it already is?" Mr Austin said.

"Why spend more taxpayers money to enforce something that creates more frustration to commuters?"

News Corp Australia can reveal the State Government plans to announce a review of its parking space levy, which will consider extending it to private residential spaces.

"The review will consider where and how the parking space levy is applied," a spokeswoman for Transport for NSW said.

"We will also look at how the money raised from the levy could be better spent to fund improvements to public transport infrastructure or services."

Currently, the levy is only paid on commercial spaces which are mostly operated by large parking companies such as Wilson and Secure.

Divvy is an app that connects commuters who need parking with vacant car spaces under office blocks and residential apartments.

If apartment owners open up their unused bays for commercial use they need to ensure the levies are also passed on

The start-up charges monthly rates that are around 30-50 per cent cheaper than traditional carparks.

Owners pay Divvy a $99 registration fee plus 15 per cent to lease their spaces, earning between $200 to as much as $900 per month depending on location.

Most of Divvy's spaces are in office blocks owned by large companies like GPT and Mirvac, but about 10 per cent are in residential units.

Secure Parking said carpark sharing sites were unfairly offering discount rates because they did not have to pay the levy on residential spaces.

The government levy brings in about $100m each year, with individual bays in city office towers taxed at $2260 each per year.

Secure Parking NSW general manager Peter Seales said the levy should apply to residential units to create a "level playing field".

"If apartment owners open up their unused bays for commercial use they need to ensure the levies are also passed on," he said

But Mr Austin has rejected the call and said Divvy's rates were cheaper because it had a leaner business.

The State Government spent less than half of its $104m revenue from the parking levy on new commuter carparks last financial year – despite promising to spend it all on projects that encouraged public transport.

The NRMA is calling for more of the funds to be spent on new carparks.

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