Stadium tax break

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It’ll take Dunedin decades to pay off its $224 million stadium – yet Queenstown will be off the hook by 2014. 

The resort’s ‘stadium relief’ ironically comes courtesy of Inland Revenue, according to Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead. 

ORC initially tipped in $37.5m towards the swanky Forsyth Barr stadium, aiming to recoup the cost from Wakatipu and other regional ratepayers over 15 years. 

Now, Woodhead announces, the IRD has deemed ORC’s stadium donation to be tax deductible – meaning large savings for ratepayers. 

The IRD tax break cuts ORC’s stadium payback time from 15 years to just five years – meaning there are just two years to go, Woodhead says. 

Newly revealed cost blowouts for the controversial stadium project have this week led to calls for pro-stadium Dunedin councillors and others who promoted the project to resign. 

Wakatipu ratepayers will cough up about $550,000 annually in stadium repayment rates over ORC’s next two financial years – about $56 a year for a million-dollar home. 

After that, Dunedin must carry its millstone alone.