The Greater London Authority has offered a 20 percent discount on the Crossrail levy for new office space developments.
The reduction will stay in place until the end of March, 2010. The GLA hopes that the discount will stimulate the commercial property market by increasing developers’ incentive to build now, rather than wait for more prosperous times.
Critics have been sceptical about the levy from the start. The controversial tax, due on all new office space developments in the centre of London over 5,000 square feet, was intended to raise around £600 million for the new transport network – currently scheduled to open in 2017.
Property companies are expected to make a contribution to its costs when planning new developments because they will theoretically benefit from improved transport links, but in practice the amount due has frequently been subject to negotiation and heavy reductions.