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A resounding ‘no’ to tourist tax – MANZ

23 July 2015

A resounding ‘no’ to tourist tax – MANZ

The accommodation industry will respond with a resounding ‘no’ to the idea of a tourist tax floated by Local Government New Zealand, says the Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ).

The concept of heaping an additional tax on to one of the mainstays of the economy at a time when the outlook is shaky is nothing short of madness, and a classic example of how little understanding Councils have of the real world, MANZ Chief Executive Michael Baines says.

“The very idea of a tourist tax should be shot down straight away. It’s simply another move out of the Council’s ‘tax and spend’ manual and hard-working businesses should not have their future placed in jeopardy simply because most Councils lack the will or the capability to balance their own books,” Mr Baines says.

Any private sector company facing lean times will focus on operating as efficiently as possible to get through. And yet time and again we see Councils behaving like the monopolies they are and look to gouge businesses and individuals through higher fees and rates which they have no choice but to pay.

“I would fully endorse the comments of Local Government Minister Paula Bennett who said councils need to look at getting best use for ratepayer dollars before they start looking at revenue gathering from other sources,” Mr Baines says.

“Someone needs to get the message through to Councils that they cannot continue to heap costs upon businesses or they will start to fold, and then where will they get income from?”

Tourism is one of New Zealand’s biggest foreign income earners. At a time of low dairy prices it is crucial that tourism is supported in order to maintain the country’s economic performance.

“I hear Councils say they want to encourage economic development. If they were serious about this they would look to cut costs rather than forever seeking ways to increase them, letting businesses focus on growth and jobs rather than navigate the never-ending rolls of red tape,” Mr Baines concludes.


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