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And while Cr Lee Vandervis made some headway during the debate, appealing to his colleagues to revert to the status quo — where the community services targeted rate would increase $247, easing the general rating burden on commercial properties — Cr David Benson-Pope swayed the majority of councillors by the end of the debate, which he won 10-5.
Crs Carmen Houlahan, Mike Lord, Jules Radich, Vandervis and Doug Hall voted against the change.
Cr Benson-Pope took aim at those who returned to the plight of the commercial sector at present during the debate.
‘‘This is a sensible change we agreed to because of the effect of the valuation change,’’ he said.
‘‘We are duty bound to respond to the needs and the challenges of our whole community and not a particular part of it.’’
Dunedin properties were revalued in 2019 and overall, there had been a 33.5% increase in Dunedin properties’ capital values, the council’s civic and finance department advises.
The increase in capital values of certain properties in the city would have had a ‘‘notable impact’’ on the overall rate for some because within the overall rise in values, residential properties increased by 39.9%, and lower-value properties ($420,000 and below) increased by 50%.
Cr Vandervis said rating would always be a ‘‘blunt instrument’’.
Until recently Dunedin had lagged in key performance indicators for its economy compared to other New Zealand centres and now needed a ‘‘fairer distribution’’ of the rates requirement.
The change, he said, was being pushed by those who ‘‘simply don't understand’’ the needs of business and ‘‘simply rate businesses heavily’’ because they represented a small number of votes come the next election.