To improve mobility, the Government plans several measures under its zoning and taxation powers.
According to the Brussels Government, the Regional Planning Regulation (Règlement Régional d’Urbanisme / Gewestelijke Stedenbouwkundige Verordening) (the RRU) should be amended in order to reduce the number of authorised off-street parking spaces. To date, the maximum number depends on the purpose of the project:
- for offices, high-tech activities and “intangible goods production activities” (activités de production de bien immatériels / activiteitein voor de vervaardiging van immateriële goederen) (such as environmental technology activities, call centers or recording studios): (i) in zone A, two parking spaces for the first 250 sqm of surface area + one additional parking space for each next 200 sqm of surface area, (ii) in zone B, one parking space for each 100 sqm of surface area and (iii) in zone C, one parking space for each 60 sqm of surface area; we can expect these surface thresholds to increase;
- for housing: (i) at least 1 parking space per dwelling and (ii) maximum 2 parking spaces per dwelling; the Governments intends to modify the rules so that the minimum becomes the maximum;
- for projects with other purposes, the allowed number of parking spaces is analyzed and decided on a case-by-case basis, based on several criteria, such as accessibility by public transport or the type of activities.
Currently, an environmental tax on parking spaces applies in the Brussels Region (the CoBRACE tax). Depending on the location and the surface area of the office building, a maximum number of permitted parking spaces is set. Parking spaces in excess are subject to an annual tax ranging between 250 EUR and 450 EUR per parking space, whose amount is increased each year by 10%. In order to further reduce the use of cars to commute and increase the effectiveness of the CoBRACE tax, the Government intends to:
- increase the amount of the CoBRACE tax due per excess parking space (that are not transformed, removed or shared for the benefit of the inhabitants);
- extend the concept of ‘parking spaces’ to include parking spaces leased by companies in public parkings;
- encourage the shared use of off-street parking spaces, in particular for the benefit of inhabitants, with priority being given to the shared use of parking spaces for offices, shopping areas, homes and schools; and
- stimulate the harmonisation of municipal taxes on companies' car parks in order to encourage companies to develop business plans favouring the use of public transport and car-pooling.
With respect to the CoBRACE tax, the maximum number of parking spaces allowed currently depends on the RRU. It is expected that a modification of the RRU will have tax consequences.