Given the current climate due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession, Property Council New Zealand recommends the following:
- Reduce the rates increase further by finding additional reductions in the budget and taking on further debt.
- Considers rates relief or rebate options, such as waving late payment fees and allowing delayed rates instalments.
- Freeze the business rates differential transition for a year (option 2), until the Council does a full review of the Revenue and Financing Policy as part of the LTP 2021-2031.
- Abolish the introduction of a separate rating differential for Queensgate Shopping Centre.
- Investigate alternative funding mechanisms such as user charges, targeted rates, public-private partnerships and special purpose vehicles.
- Consider taking on more debt to reduce rates while ensuring key infrastructure projects can continue to progress.
- Focus on core infrastructure, such as upgrades to water services and roads, during the recovery period, and reassess spending on other projects as part of the LTP 2021-31.