Tar­geted Tawa rate draws out op­po­nents

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - KRIS DANDO

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.

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