Media release from JY&AMedia
Beyond saying that he disagreed with the rates differential in Wellington, mayoral candidate Jack Yan says he would query, in his first week in office, why certain commercial properties are classified as residential, and paying a lower rate.
‘As a ratepayer in Wellington, I believe we all have to give our fair share. But there could be some properties that have not been doing that,’ he says.
Mr Yan says he was prompted by his opponent, Councillor Bryan Pepperell, after comments he made in the Capital Times on September 22. Councillor Pepperell noted that there was a ‘loophole’, which Mr Yan has vowed to investigate.
‘We have called to enquire which rooms are available for a week’s stay in Wellington, and were offered commercial rooms which have been classified as residences based on the City Council’s public record,’ says Mr Yan.
Mr Yan says that based on the Wellington City Council’s rating system, a property is classified as commercial if it permits short-term stays of under 28 days, for which a tariff is charged. Those classified as ‘base’, or residential, pay a lower rate.
Yet he and members of his campaign have managed to stay in, or successfully enquire after short-term stays for, ‘base’-classified rooms in Wellington that are actually commercial. These include Quest Apartments at 154 The Terrace, the Museum Hotel’s apartment wing, the Aitken on Mulgrave Apartments, and other properties around the city.
‘It may be entirely innocent, and maybe the property owners themselves are unaware.
‘I would like to query the CEO of the Council, Mr Garry Poole, for a clarification of its own policy about the differential rating system, and why a discrepancy appears to exist. Whatever the case, it highlights that Wellington needs a fresh set of eyes to examine our policies and introduce greater transparency,’ he says.