Hospitality industry rails against Wgtn 'bed tax'

3:15 pm on 3 March 2018

The hospitality industry has accused the Wellington Council of "double-dipping" in its proposal to introduce an accommodation levy in the city.

Wellington mayor Justin Lester

Wellington mayor Justin Lester Photo: RNZ / Aaron Smale

The levy proposed in the councils' draft long term plan would be added to the rates bills of Wellington hotel and motel building owners.

The mayor, Justin Lester, said it was needed to ease infrastructure costs for locals.

However, Hospitality New Zealand spokesperson Rachael Shadbolt said accommodation providers were just one part of the tourism industry and were being unfairly targeted.

She said they already paid a downtown levy to the council and the new proposal just duplicated that.

"Yet it seems to be 'it's easy to put a red pen around all the motels and hotels and get them to pay targeted rates' when so many other people benefit."

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said it would also deter investors from building new hotels and motels.

"This signals that they're going to face increased costs if they do build a new accommodation facility in Wellington which could see them deciding to invest their money elsewhere," he said.

"And anything that puts off investors from investing is unwelcome."

Wellington's draft long-term plan is set to be discussed by councillors next week.

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