Garage prices rise
GARAGE prices are increasing so much that a taxi driver is contemplating paying extra on his insurance rather than paying the extortionate £500-a-year fee. Fees the borough council charge to rent a garage have risen £1 a week to £9.99. Mark Hann, who
GARAGE prices are increasing so much that a taxi driver is contemplating paying extra on his insurance rather than paying the "extortionate" £500-a-year fee.
Fees the borough council charge to rent a garage have risen £1 a week to £9.99.
Mark Hann, who works for Hatfield firm Hilltop Taxis, said the prices are "becoming a joke".
He said: "The prices are extortionate. I think its inflation gone mad.
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"How can this be justified? A conservative estimate would say that there must be 1,000 rentable garages in Welwyn Hatfield so what does the council intend doing with this extra £50,000?"
The 51-year-old, who is from South Hatfield, added: "It affects me quite a lot, because I have a taxi and to keep the insurance down I have always had a garage.
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"But now looking at it, I maybe financially better off if I get rid of the garage, because it is probably costing me more than the non secure parking on the insurance would."
A council spokeswoman said that non tenants currently pay VAT, meaning that garages cost just under £500 per year.
Tenants do not pay VAT, leaving them with a £425 bill.
There are no other benefits available, apart from that each payer is given two weeks free.
She said: "We are aware of concerns regarding the cost of garage rents in the borough, but would assure residents that the charges are in line with other councils in the county.
"We will have completed our survey of garages by the end of March 2008 and this will lead to a number of maintenance and other improvement schemes around the borough.
"Our continued aim is to provide customers with a good service and well-maintained garages at a reasonable price.