For those laughing about Goff’s bed tax…just you wait

For all those people living outside of Auckland who think it is funny that Phil Goff is set to implement special rates across the region against hoteliers and moteliers…think again.

He says the “bed tax” is coming your way soon too.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says tourism opposition to a targeted tax on hotels and motels was based on fear that other councils around the country will follow suit.

“And I am sure they will,” he says.

The contentious targeted rate on Auckland’s motels and hotels was passed 10-7 by Auckland Council yesterday as part of the first annual budget from the new mayor.

The budget also included a 2.5% rates increase, a living wage for council employees, funding on homelessness, and a $200 million boost to infrastructure spending to $2 billion this year.

This decision is going to be mired in court for the foreseeable future.

Many tourism industry players are disappointed with the decision, which is likely to be subject to judicial review in the High Court.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa had a legal opinion that the industry players wouldn’t be able to pass on the targeted rate but Mr Goff said his own legal advice is that there is “nothing stopping them passing on the rate the same as any other.”

He hopes a judicial review can be avoided and is “happy to meet with the industry and continue to have dialogue with them.”

The rate will fund half of the $27 million spent annually on marketing by Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development. The money saved from that will go toward funding transport infrastructure.

TIA and Hospitality New Zealand said most, if not all, of the councillors recognised the unfairness of the proposal but a majority still voted for the measure.

TIA should insist on ATEED board control now they are to fund it. They should take the Council to court over representation on the board.

TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says the targeted rate was based on “bad information and a poor understanding of how the visitor economy works. There are also unanswered questions over whether it meets relevant legislation,” he says.

Hospitality NZ chief executive Vicki Lee says an unbudgeted cost increase of this magnitude will create serious challenges for any business and Auckland’s motels and hotels are no exception.

Both organisations are deciding on their next steps.

Goff is going to start smacking communities with special rates now.

Already his little helpers from the Act party in Rodney are lining up to shove through a special rate for roading. Here’s a handy hint for them…don’t go ringing around people asking them to tell me to stop bashing them. For a start it won’t work, secondly stop being dishonest ratbags.

Word is also leaking out about significant third party funding going to third party campaigners to mount a campaign against Denise Lee for her stabbing of ratepayers.

There is going to be some splatter too for Desley Simpson and her husband Peter Goodfellow for her actions supporting the bed tax.

All of this can be laid at the feet of the very people who decided to put up Vic Crone as the candidate against Goff, and that stems right from the top of the National party.

You reap what you sow and what National will reap is a whirlwind of discontent in Auckland.

 

-NBR


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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