Queenstown mulls 50 cents a day visitor levy

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Queenstown Lakes District Council proposes a visitor levy which it’s calling the next best thing to a bed tax.
 
A rates and funding working party suggest visitors could pay about 50 cents per day when they use local parks, reserves, walkways and public toilets or attend events. 

The council would collect the money indirectly in the rates of local tourism businesses. 

Council finance boss Stewart Burns says the working party had studied the impact that 2.8 million visitors per annum has on its costs. 

“The council has tested the idea of a bed tax in the past with central Government, which is reluctant to legislate for one. 

“We have also listened to our community, which has been vocal in the need to fairly apportion cost to visitors.” 

The visitor levy, named the recreation and events rate, will be contained in council’s draft 10-year plan, which goes out for consultation on April 7.
 
Burns says the average rate increase in the draft plan is 2.8 per cent, after allowing for growth.