Targeted Tawa rate draws out opponents
A targeted rate to improve Tawa’s economy is running into opposition about the openness of what building owners will be charged.
Peter Cohen said he was told his share to make Tawa a Business Improvement District (BID) would be about a dollar a day on his $395,000 property at 197 Main Rd, which houses the Mary Potter Hospice shop.
‘‘Everyone is on board in principle to make Tawa a more thriving place,’’ he said.
‘‘But in order to take the pressure off the larger building owners, it looks like us smaller and mediumsized owners are going to get penalised, and there hasn’t been transparency in this part of the process.’’
Cohen said that ‘‘very quietly’’ ahead of the vote on December 16, the rate for him had gone to about $1.50, meaning he would be charged about $550 a year, instead of the $365 he originally believed.
He said some of this cost would have to be met by his tenants, a charity.
‘‘They [the BID committee] have changed this without proper consultation. I know some building owners who’ve already voted yes to the BID but would vote no now, if they could.’’
Fellow building owner Michael Koshutski said he voted yes but was concerned about the potential rise.
‘‘It might mean an $1000 extra a year for me and that won’t hurt much, but the rate has been changed without proper consultation and discussion.’’
The BID’s business consultant Tony Henderson-Newport was relaxed about the accusations, saying the consultation had been extensive and fair.
‘‘The fact we’ve put the vote date out to December 16 means owners have plenty of time to check out the facts and figures.’’
BID committee member Ant Simon said ‘‘great lengths’’ had been taken to be transparent ahead of the vote.
‘‘We’ve gone through a process to decide the rates and done our best to be open about it the whole way.
‘‘Nothing that’s been done is to benefit any one business or building owner.
‘‘The bottom line is that the literature is out there, it’s available, and people are perfectly within their right to vote no.’’
Tawa building owners have until December 16 to vote on the rate.