The area around the COEX Convention Center in Samseong-dong in Seoul’s Gangnam district was the most congested in Korea last year, a distinction it has held since 2002.
Statistics released by the Surface Transport Bureau of the Ministry of Construction and Transportation on Monday show that COEX paid the highest "traffic induction" charge last year with W744.38 million.
The Central City building and the Jamsil branch of Lotte Department Store came next with traffic induction taxes of W616.83 million and W552.3 million. The Busan and main branches of Lotte Departmnet Store ranked fourth and fifth with tax assessments of W382.12 million and W316.03 million. Asan Medical Center, Busan Lotte Hotel, Lotte World and the Cheonho branch of Hyundai Department Store were all in the top 10.
The traffic induction charge is a tax imposed on buildings and facilities in big cities since 1990, with the amount determined by how much congestion they cause. In 2004, 214,917 sites were slapped with the charge, up 20 percent from the previous year, paying total charges of W133.01 billion.
Until 2000, the Jamsil branch of Lotte Department topped the list for seven years but was overtaken by Central City in 2001. With development of the COEX mall, COEX has topped the list since 2002.