The State Revenue Office of Victoria has announced various tax relief measures this year, ranging from a waiver of liquor licence fees, duty concessions for commercial or industrial properties in regional Victoria, deferral of land tax and a full waiver of payroll tax.

These tax relief measures have been outlined in Issues 7 and 9 of our State Taxation Series.

On 10 September 2020, the Victorian Government announced further coronavirus tax and fee relief measures.

The further coronavirus relief announced relates to congestion levy and vacant residential land tax.

This Issue however will focus only on the further tax relief announced by the Victorian Government in relation to congestion levy.

Congestion Levy waiver and extension

The further relief measures announced on 10 September 2020 implements a 25% waiver of 2020 congestion levy liabilities.

Further, the due date for payment of any balance of congestion levy liabilities applicable have now been extended to 31 March 2021.

Congestion Levy concessions and further issues

While the 25% waiver of congestion levy liabilities for the 2020 year is a welcome move by the Victorian Government, it remains extremely difficult to reconcile the significant impost that still stands.

This is particularly amplified when appreciated that the majority, if not all carpark owners in both Category 1 and Category 2 levy areas have almost had no ability to derive revenue from carparks due to the government restrictions prohibiting travel outside a 5 kilometer radius for Victorians living in Metropolitan Melbourne.

This is clearly an opportune moment for all affected Victorian car park owners who remain liable to pay congestion levy to look into the concessions available under the Congestion Levy Act 2005 (Vic).

Separately, it also may well be the opportunity to reconsider the applicability of the judgment by the Victorian Court of Appeal in Secure Parking Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] VSCA 68 on the basis that the decision in that case as to whether a space was "set aside" for parking whether or not it is in use, in reference to the particular legislative definitions need not necessarily hold in circumstances where the imposition of severe government restrictions have fundamentally curtailed movement outside a 5 kilometer radius, including in most cases, the once ordinary task of parking a vehicle within a carpark situated in Melbourne CBD or its surrounds.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.