Property Council submission on Wellington City Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2022/23 and Amendments to the Long Term Plan 2021-31

On 12 May 2022, Property Council submitted on Wellington City Council’s Draft Annual Plan 2022/23 and Amendments to the Long Term Plan 2021-31.

Why it matters to our members

Property Council believes in the creation and retention of a well-designed, functional, and sustainable built environment. The Draft Annual Plan 2022/23 outlines the direction of Wellington City Council for the next twelve months and will influence outcomes across Wellington. It is important that decisions made by the Council have fair and equitable outcomes for the private sector.

Our view

Property Council’s submission did not support the increase to the rating differential as it will have negative outcomes for Wellington’s private sector, especially in a time where we should be supporting businesses bring back life to the CBD.

We recommended that Wellington City Council:

  • Does not increase the rating differential from 3.25 and 3.7; and further, commence a planned reduction in 2022/2023 of the differential until entirely removed over next three annual plans;
  • Improve their transparency as to how rates are set, provide the commercial sector with evidence that demonstrates how Council’s spending will reflect the 56%/44% split and investigate reducing the general rate proportion;
  • Provide evidence that the Council have planned to immediately reduce its expenditure and review its expenditure priorities;
  • Consider alternative funding methods such as targeted rates and special purpose vehicles;
  • Explain the proposed sludge levy system impact on rates (i.e. confirm that this is a further increase in rates to all ratepayers);
  • Amend the proposed sludge levy system from the proposed 60%/40% residential/commercial ratio to a 70% /30% ratio to better reflect the current and future make-up of Wellington;
  • Consult with Property Council New Zealand and our value capture member working group when considering funding mechanisms for Let’s Get Wellington Moving; and then explain how Council will pay for its share of the project costs;
  • Reject the idea of a commuter parking levy, as this will have a significant impact on businesses, individuals and Wellington city. We recommend the Council investigate alternative funding tools such as congestion charging or incentivisation of EV charging installations in commercial parking facilities;
  • Make no change to the existing Development Contributions policy until there is further policy consultation and analysis done to the proposed $20 million Environmental and Accessibility Performance Fund working with owner developers to understand what practical implications the proposed changes could have on the sector;
  • Keep the current environmental development contribution remission until further policy consultation and analysis can occur on the proposed Environmental and Accessibility Performance Fund; and
  • Provide transparent, and concise information explaining what the overall rates increases will mean for different sectors within Wellington and outline direction and indirect benefits each sector receives.
Read our full submission

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