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