Queenstown needs a new business tax to help retain major events, leading business magnate Sir Eion Edgar says.
The new tax should be a separate annual rate similar to the commercial levy that funds mar-keting body Destination Queenstown, Edgar told a business luncheon last Friday.
“Without funding it’s going to be difficult to retain in this area major events like the Winter Games,” he says.
“A business rate that raises $500,000 annually would seriously assist in retaining events we have and attracting major events that we don’t. Who are the main beneficiaries of events like the Winter Games? The business community.”
Edgar, who helped Arthur Klap make the inaugural Winter Games happen last August, also called for a separate $500,000 underwriting fund to be set up. It would help pitch for one-off events like concerts and reduce risk for promoters, Edgar says.
Queenstown mayor Clive Geddes says council aims to set up a working group early next year to investigate funding options available for supporting events.
“The types of things Eion talked about will be part of what that working group will be looking at very carefully.”