Taipei mayor outlines his parking spaces plan

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Feb 22, 2017 - Page 3

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday outlined his plan to encourage city residents to rent out unused parking spaces to alleviate parking problems in the capital.

Ko on Sunday during an interview with the Taipei City Government’s Taipei Broadcasting Station pitched the idea of encouraging people to rent out unused parking spaces.

He said he owns two parking spaces, but since he does not drive, they have been unused for about four years and he would very much like to rent them out.

At a ceremony yesterday to unveil the refurbished Tianmu Sports Arena, Ko fielded reporters’ questions about how much members of the public would be taxed if they rent out their parking spaces and whether people’s willingness to take part in the initiative would depend on a complementary tax reduction scheme.

The initiative is to be carried out in two stages, with the first stage focusing on office buildings with 100 or more parking spaces, Ko said.

Homes with unused parking spaces would be targeted in the second stage, he said.

Taxes levied on facilities that participate in the initiative would be lower than those currently charged, he said.

Taipei Parking and Management Development Office head Huang Shih-han (黃詩涵) said that office buildings are charged a land value tax of between 1 and 5.5 percent.

As an incentive, buildings that have obtained an operating license at the office would pay the lowest rate of 1 percent when they open up their parking lots to the public, Huang said.

The office has selected Nanjing E Road — where people often park in the alleys due to a shortage of parking spaces — as the venue for a soft launch of the initiative, she said.

The office would contact the managers of 16 buildings in the area that are qualified to take part in the initiative in the hope the initiative can be fully implemented by August, she said.

The idea is to allow area residents to use the parking spaces in office buildings at night when workers have left the building, she said.

The office plans to add 518 parking spaces at 20 schools to more than 20,000 spaces that are open to the public since an initiative to free up parking spaces at city government agencies and schools was launched in 2007.