Ben­e­fits of bed tax queried

North Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - ZIZI SPARKS

A lo­cal board mem­ber has ques­tioned what lo­cal ben­e­fit will come from a new tar­geted rate for ac­com­mo­da­tion providers.

Caitlin Wat­son of the Hibis­cus and Bays Lo­cal Board asked, at a board meet­ing, whether mote­liers pay­ing the tax would even ben­e­fit from events, which largely take place in the city.

The tar­geted rate was ap­proved in June this year and means ac­com­mo­da­tion providers are charged ex­tra to par­tially offset the cost of stag­ing ma­jor events in the city.

The tax means the rates pre­vi­ously used to fund this are freed up for new in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments.

Wat­son said many events such as the ASB Clas­sic, aren’t held in the Hibis­cus and Bays or Up­per Har­bour lo­cal board ar­eas.

‘‘To me, it’s fun­da­men­tally un­fair they are pay­ing these ex­tra costs but not get­ting any­thing in re­turn,’’ Wat­son said.

The man­ager of Quest Al­bany on Dairy Flat High­way, Jun Pyo, said the ac­com­mo­da­tion tax was a hot topic.

‘‘We’re ques­tion­ing the coun­cil on that tax on ac­com­mo­da­tion providers only,’’ Pyo said. ‘‘We’re not the only ones get­ting ben­e­fit out of [vis­i­tors to Auck­land].

‘‘We’re hav­ing to pay an ex­tra $3000 a month, ... which was un­ex­pected. It’s a big ex­pense for a small oper­a­tion like us.’’

Pyo said while the ho­tel does ben­e­fit from the big events in the city like All Blacks’ games and large con­certs, those events aren’t very fre­quent.

Wat­son said she’d like to see ad­di­tional events put on in the area, per­haps mak­ing use of QBE Sta­dium, or ad­di­tional ser­vices to en­cour­age peo­ple to stay in the area.

The ac­com­mo­da­tion provider tar­geted rate is added to ex­ist­ing rates bills. Ra­mada Al­bany is a rel­a­tively new ho­tel and will be ex­empt from the tax for the first year of oper­a­tion.

Once it does have to pay, a tar­geted rate of $33,482 will make it the ac­com­mo­da­tion provider with the high­est bed tax in the Al­bany ward. But Quest Al­bany’s al­most $70,000 rates bill cou­pled with the $30,000 tar­geted rate makes it the provider with the largest to­tal bill.

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