Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday that Taipei American School's (TAS) rent was too low, and asked for an increase to help out the cash-strapped county.
Chou said that it was only natural that Taipei County should ask to adjust the rent to a "reasonable" level.
He said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said the matter would require coordination with the Ministry of Education, which he said was a "strange strategy of passing the buck which we can't accept."
Chou said that since MOFA was incapable of presiding over an inter-agency meeting on coordination, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) should take the matter into his own hands.
Noting that the US is a major ally of Taiwan, Chou said that if the premier thought the government felt it necessary to give the school preferential treatment out of foreign policy considerations, the government should make up the difference in rent to Taipei County.
He said that as Su had previously served as Taipei County chief, he should have a clear understanding of the county's financial situation.
TAS was established in 1979 in suburban Taipei City. It has an area of around 11,500m2, with Taipei County Government owning part of the land, but the school only pays NT$220,000 (US$6,984) in annual rent to the Taipei County Government. By comparison, the nearby Taipei Japanese School has an area of 4,399m2, but pays annual rent of NT$7.45 million.