Goff’s illegal bed tax

Todd Niall writes:

Sometimes in politics it is worth remembering old wisdoms.

One is: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. (Despite what your lawyer might tell you).

The Court of Appeal has found one of Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s first initiatives in 2017 was, in fact, such a duck.

Last week, it ruled it was not a valid, legally sound additional rate on visitor accommodation providers.

It was an illegal $28 million tax.

The targeted rate was Goff’s first and highest-risk play upon election in 2016. He had pledged to keep the rates rises paid by voters to a bargain-basement 2.5 per cent, and pre-election, floated the notion of “targeted rates”.

He arrived with his ready-made inner circle of local government newcomers, and within weeks APTR was floated publicly in his first Budget proposal.

So rather than control spending, they imposed an illegal new tax.

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