Benefits of bed tax queried
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.