Mahere ā-tau Annual Plan 2022/23
Wellington Chamber of Commerce Submission
The Chamber would like to thank the Wellington City Council (WCC) for the opportunity to submit on this plan.
The Chamber supports the goals of the Long Term Plan 2021–31 work programme (LTP) for the next 9 years focusing on fixing the city’s aging infrastructure, response to climate change, minimising sewage sludge and waste, and improving transport connections and networks. We have made previous comments on the LTP itself, which can be found in our
2021 submission and is available here.
This submission makes comments on the 2022/23 Annual Plan, which makes amendments to the LTP. Core to the funding of the 2022/2023 Annual Plan is the change of the commercial rates differential “the differential” from 3.25 to 3.7. The change in the differential is due to the valuations of residential properties significantly outpacing those of commercial properties in Wellington. To maintain the 44% share of city rates paid by the commercial sector, the council is raising the differential – equalling $8.5 million paid in commercial rates, compared to otherwise.
This is, in the view of the Chamber, an unfair and unreasonable increase on business – out of line with the services businesses use, the economic environment they face, and their national peers. The differential is already one of the highest in the country and the highest in our region. So too is the share of city rates paid by Wellington businesses compared
to Auckland and Christchurch.
It is an out-of-date system. When the rates differential was first
introduced in the 1980s, Wellington commercial ratepayers owned 85%
of Wellington’s capital value. Today, it is the reverse – with commercial
ratepayers holding just 15% of the city’s capital value, but still paying
close to half the share...
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