Visitor Levy vote closed - Mayor has fingers crossed
Mayor Jim Boult will be hoping for a positive result from the visitor referendum that has now closed. The Mayor has previously been clear that he sees the local tourist tax as the best way to relieve the pressure on ratepayers from the increasing cost of local infrastructure. He needs a strong, supportive outcome from the referendum to then ask central Government for the necessary law change.
Here's the full statement just released by QLDC.
"Mayor Jim Boult has confirmed that voting is now closed on a non-binding referendum to introduce a visitor levy for the Queenstown Lakes District.
“I would like to personally thank everyone who has taken the time to engage with and participate in this process. The final count is still underway and I am very much looking forward to seeing the result and sharing it with the community,” Mayor Boult said.
The return as at midday today was approx. 38%. This does not include the large number of votes hand delivered today or the special votes that have been made at Council offices and are yet to be counted. To put this into context a final participation rate for a non-binding referendum of 30% is considered as a strong return.
QLDC chief executive Mike Theelen advised that an official result would be confirmed by elections.com by 10 June
“A large number of votes have come in, right up to the voting deadline. These are yet to be counted so we have made the decision to complete a final count before confirming the result with the community,” Mr Theelen said.
Once a final result is available if it indicates strong support by the community, Mayor Boult will formally present the outcome to central government and request a change in legislation. The timeline for this and details of the subsequent work programme will be publicly available once confirmed."