Tourists will take a hike

If it moves, tax it. That seems to be the essence of this government’s taxation policy, and it has tourists firmly in its sights. Having already committed to charging foreign visitors for many of the great walks in the country, and Auckland charging a ‘bed tax’ for hotel visits, now the government is looking at imposing a visitor levy of up to $35 per person, commencing next year.

Stuff?reports: Quote:

Tourists arriving in New Zealand could be charged up to $35 to enter the country under a Government proposed international visitor levy.

On Friday, the Government will begin a consultation period, ending on July 15, to see if a tourist tax could?ease the cost burden on communities and ratepayers for tourism-related infrastructure.

The proposed levy would impact international visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less, and would be at a rate?between $25 to $35. end quote.

These guys need to get familiar with some fairy stories. In particular, the one about killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Quote:

Minister of Tourism Kelvin Davis said:?”Rapid growth has impacted on the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure. Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to carparks.”? End quote.

This government seems to conveniently forget how much money tourists bring to the country, particularly in tax revenue. It is estimated that tourism nets $2.8 billion in GST alone each year. If that revenue was put into tourist infrastructure instead of paying for middle class tertiary students’ free tuition fees, it would go a long way to paying for the infrastructure needed. Instead, tourists have to fork out even more, in a country that is already recognised internationally as being expensive to visit. Quote:

The Government claims it would?bring in $57-80 million in its first year, depending on the rate, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation activity.

It is proposed the tax would be?collected through visa fees and via the proposed Electronic Travel Authority process, also under consultation, for citizens of visa waiver countries.

The announcement follows closely behind?a new?price hike for foreigners?trekking some of New Zealand’s Great Walks, but Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said tourists would understand. End quote.

Another Green MP away with the fairies. If New Zealand becomes too expensive, tourists will understand perfectly. They’ll go elsewhere. Quote:

“We need a smarter way to fund the great infrastructure tourists need to make the most of their time here,” said Sage.

“We want them to leave New Zealand with the best memories and part of that means providing the services they need to help them enjoy our country.

“It’s only fair that they make a small contribution so that we can help provide the infrastructure they need and better protect the natural places they enjoy.” End quote.

Tourists already make a big contribution to tax revenue on this country, and get nothing for it. This government simply does not understand basic economics. Tourists do not have to come here. If it gets too expensive, they will simply stop coming. And that will put $2.8 billion of GST at risk, along with all their other tourist-thieving proposals.

It must be time to wipe out another industry. This time we’ll just tax it to death. That should do it.