Eastern Courier - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

As just a nor­mal residential ratepayer, I have to con­trib­ute ap­prox­i­mately $47 out of the rates I’m forced to pay to­wards the amount the Auck­land Coun­cil, through ATEED, spends on ad­ver­tis­ing to at­tract vis­i­tors to come to the city.

Mayor Phil Goff is propos­ing that ho­tels and mo­tels should pay a levy to­wards the cost of that ad­ver­tis­ing on the grounds they ben­e­fit from the money vis­i­tors spend while here. The im­post on residential ratepay­ers could then be re­duced. As could be ex­pected, the ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor is vo­cif­er­ous in op­pos­ing the mayor’s pro­posal and has wheeled in prom­i­nent busi­ness­men as sup­port.

Un­for­tu­nately it seems that a num­ber of coun­cil­lors may have been per­suaded by the em­i­nence of those op­pos­ing a levy and the mayor may have dif­fi­culty in get­ting the coun­cil to agree to it. The main point of those op­posed seems to be that the ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor only gets 10 per cent of the vis­i­tor spend, when it’s be­ing asked to pay 100 per cent of the levy.

One speaker de­scribes that as grossly un­fair, when the other 90 per cent goes to­wards restau­rants, events, taxis etc, and they’re not go­ing to be levied.

Yes, it’s un­fair, but how much more gross is it that residential ratepay­ers have to pay when they get noth­ing, i.e. 0 per cent.

To add un­fair­ness to un­fair­ness, busi­ness can write-off its rates against tax, whereas res­i­dents can­not. And a fur­ther in­jus­tice is that in re­cent years the coun­cil has tweaked the av­er­age rate in­crease to slightly in­crease it on res­i­dents, and slightly re­duce it on busi­ness.

The ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor should re­mem­ber the story about the man who com­plained he had no shoes un­til he met a man who had no feet.

I sug­gest res­i­dents should take to the air­waves and sup­port Goff in his ef­forts to bring in a more eq­ui­table rat­ing sys­tem in fu­ture.

H.E.H. Perkins Botany Downs

Jeremy Chao (left) pick­ing up rub­bish at Half Moon Bay.

some­thing heart-warm­ing that my friend Wil­liam Buchanan and I hap­pened to wit­ness last Satur­day night.

We are ap­pren­tice fish­eries of­fi­cers and went down to Half Moon Bay to try and gather data on how many peo­ple use the dock at night - an as­sign­ment.

When we got there we were shocked and im­pressed to see this young man, Jeremy Chao, out

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