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Proposed Queenstown bed tax would be 'unfair'

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Monday, 11 February 2019, 6:34p.m.
Queenstown wants to raise funds from a bed tax. (Photo / Getty)

Queenstown hotel owners say their industry is being unfairly targeted by a proposed bed tax.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council are proposing a bed tax to ease the burden of 5.5 million visitor nights spent in the region every year.

However, Villa Del Lago Hotel owner Nik Kiddle says he has a list of 47 individual businesses who are against the move.

He told Larry Williams the district profits from visitors spending money across the board.

"Roughly $2.2 billion is spent in our district each year, and everyone is benefiting from that. So taxing the accommodation sector is very unfair and inequitable and potentially ruin some of us."

Many international countries have such a tax, but Kiddle says that New Zealand's tax system prevents councils from gathering tax like this.

"While it is common overseas, it would be a very significant change to the gathering of taxation in New Zealand."

The council says they would spend the money gathered on infrastructure.

Kiddle does not oppose that, but he believes the Queenstown Lakes District Council could acquire the tax in alternative manners. 

He suggests that they could borrow the money, which is more fitting to New Zealand's tax principles. 

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