Tax-free shopping zone suggested for Christchurch

12:08 pm on 3 June 2011

A tax-free shopping zone is one of several ideas being put forward by business owners to help revitalise the city in the wake of the February earthquake.

The idea was put forward by the newly-formed group City Owners Rebuild Entity (CORE) made up of about 180 Christchurch business people.

The group held a news briefing on Friday morning to discuss their submission to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.

The property owners feel one of the fastest ways to attract development in the devastated city centre is to create a tax-free zone for businesses for a limited time.

They're concerned that hundreds of businesses are leaving Christchurch and say tenants are giving notice every day.

The group proposes a limited area be tax free for businesses, but that GST on commercial transactions remain or be modified.

The group was also critical of what it said was lack of communication from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and council's lack of communication with them,

The business owners are frustrated at lack of access to their buildings in the red zone, which some don't accept is unsafe given engineers, contractors and City Council staff are carrying out work there.