Hamilton's Mayor is proposing that everyone but local ratepayers pays a $25 entry fee to see the city's themed gardens.
Andrew King said 350,000 people were visiting the gardens each year, and the city was just not coping.
He said ratepayers had paid a lot of money already and he could not see why the busloads of visitors should not contribute.
"We do need more capital and the ratepayers of Hamilton have paid a lot of money already and they shouldn't be the ones who keep paying when there are huge amounts - busloads - of visitors coming in straight from Auckland airport on the way to Rotorua, or people going from Waitomo Caves through to Hobbiton."
Mr King said while the entry fee was not set in stone, he doubted the donation-based system would remain.
He said proceeds would go towards building another seven gardens, which were expected to cost $15 million.
The proposal will be discussed at a council meeting next week.