Goff’s proposed visitor levy would not go on tourism infrastructure

The Herald reports:

A visitor levy on hotels and other accommodation will be discussed by Prime Minister John Key and Auckland Mayor tomorrow.

On Monday, Goff proposed a visitor levy costing a few dollars a night at a backpackers to $20 or more at the city’s top hotels.

The levy would apply to Kiwi and overseas visitors and could raise between $20 million and $30 million a year. It would replace ratepayer spending to attract visitors and funding for major events. …

The new mayor also dismissed calls by some in the hotel and tourism industry not to use the visitor levy on marketing and major events, but for funding infrastructure facilities.

Goff said the levy would pay for marketing and major events and free up $20 million to $30 million of ratepayer money to leverage spending on things like easing congestion and providing housing for tourism workers.

This is a naked tax grab. There might be a case for it to fund tourism infrastructure. But Goff wants this to fund stuff already being funded.

Basically under Goff’s proposal, if ATEED did fund a boxing match, then business travellers like me to Auckland would pay for it. Naff off.

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