Government help for commercial property owners needing to do earthquake-strengthening work should be taxation-based, says Auckland Property Investors Association president David Whitburn.
By Susan Edmunds
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has said the Government needs to offer assistance to the many investors around the country facing massive bills to bring their properties up to standard.
He told media this month: “There will have to be some Government leadership on this matter... whether that is in terms of financial assistance or a range of measures.”
Hundreds of buildings in downtown Wellington have been “yellow-stickered”, to show they aren't up to earthquake building standards.
Finance Minister Bill English said he was aware of the problem for property owners, but his office said he would not consider the issue until after the Royal Commission of Inquiry finding on building standards.
Whitburn, who said more than 100 of his members directly invested in commercial property, would also like to see that commission of inquiry.
“In the meantime I think the Government should be offering strong taxation-based incentives to property owners to ensure they are sufficiently motivated to protect the occupiers by doing earthquake-strengthening work. The Government should not be paying for all of this, as that is just one of the risks an investor takes when they deploy their capital.”
Whitburn said the Government should focus on helping people with earthquake-damaged properties in Christchurch and no rent coming in.
“Their 12 months of rent cover is over and they are up against the wall, unable to meet their loan repayment obligations and being served default noticed from their lenders.”