Jim Boult April 19 MR Office2

Government Tourist Tax "disappointing and potentially worthless for Queenstown" - Mayor

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult has reacted angrily to the Government's tourist tax proposal announced this morning saying it's "very disappointing."

Mayor Boult goes on to question whether the Government's suggested $25 - $35 border tax would be of any significant value to Queenstown and Wanaka. The Government proposal is expected to raise only $57 - $80 million for the whole country in the first year.

Lake View to north A MR2

Government tourist tax "won't resolve burning issues" for the district. Jim Boult

"It will result in our area getting a very small amount of money and, frankly, I'd question the worth of it. A better option is a bed tax that would raise an enormously greater sum and resolve issues, burning issues, for areas like ours." Jim Boult has backed a $10 per night bed tax to be collected by local hotels which could have raised over $40 million for the district each year.

Speaking to Crux this morning he said that the $10 a night tax is still his preferred model. When asked if the $10 a night tax should apply just to the Queenstown Lakes District Boult said that he was open minded and that "if it works for this area it will work for the rest of the country as well."

The Government's proposal announced this morning will be at the centre of a consultation process due to end on July 15 - only one month away. Boult says though that he's not giving up and will continue to fight for a tax structure that he believes will be more useful for Queenstown and Wanaka.

Read: Today's Government report says that "national tourism costs could outweigh the benefits."

Read: Mayor Jim Boult's earlier prediction of a bed tax victory.





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  • Charlotte Mill : 2/07/2018, 8:35 pm (18 months ago)

    It's time media in Queenstown talk about the Mayor's insistence on a bed tax with the accommodation providers that will be affected by this inequitable tax. For starters, let's do the maths. If the Mayor wants to slap a $10.00 per bed night on the accommodation sector and says it won't put people off he should think again. Take a family of 6 who come here for a week. That's $10.00 per person per night, or $60.00 extra per night for the family, and $420 extra for the week. That will surely put them off. And once we've put them off, it will take a lot to get them to come back.
    Of course the big tourism operators are supportive. They won't be affected, they won't need to collect the tax , set up systems to cope with it, deal with the guest backlash and administer it - it won't cost them at all, but they will benefit from it.
    Everyone in the Queenstown Lakes district benefits from tourism, so why slap a tax on one small sector. It's grossly inequitable. Everyone should contribute. Most of us in the accommodation sector run small family businesses, we are not giants.
    It's also a myth that just because it's done in other parts of the world that it's appropriate in NZ. For starters, most of the countries cited like Switzerland have a state system where each state (Canton) is responsible for tax collection and spending. We have a centralised system which means we would have to change tax laws to make any change. The Mayor is dreaming to think that it will happen overnight through his persistent lobbying.
    The Mayor has a golden opportunity with Winston Peters, now acting PM to request a small portion of the GST take to be returned to the region for infrastructure. Mt Peters campaigned on this topic, so why not hold him to it. But the Mayor has passed up this opportunity in favour of pushing his bed tax instead which is way more complicated and will deliver far less for infrastructure.
    t's time this debate is opened up to include all the stakeholders involved and not just the big tourism players.
    Charlotte Mill
    General Manager
    Villa del Lago