Auckland Transport disputes mayoral candidate Vic Crone's claim the council will make $440 million "profit" from parking charges in the next 10 years.
In a blog post yesterday, Crone said she felt "uncomfortable" with the level of profit the council made from parking fees.
"The reality is, that over the ten year plan council seeks to earn $800m in revenue from parking services across the city," she said.
"It only costs about $360m to operate these parking services, leaving it with a tidy surplus of around $440m over 10 years.
"Part of that is then moved into a general council fund. What you've got is a council that refuses to fix its wasteful spending behaviour, instead finding other ways to feed the habit."
Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan told the Herald he was unsure why Crone referred to the revenue from parking charges as "profit" as it went directly back into reducing rates for ratepayers.
"It is important to recognise that prices aren't set to maximise revenue, otherwise we would charge the same as [commercial] providers," he said.
"Rather, prices are set at a level laid out in our publicly consulted parking strategy which balances supply and demand. "
Hannan said if parking fees were set too low, there were issues with the availability of parks.
"This is what happened 18 months ago when rates at the Downtown Carpark were too low and the building was often full by late morning.
"Vehicles parked there all day meaning people travelling into the city couldn't find a park."
Lower levels of enforcement or revenue would also mean rates would have to rise to compensate, he said.
Crone said if she was elected mayor, she would ensure any surplus from parking revenue went directly into an investment fund dedicated to public transport infrastructure.