The Auckland Council has introduced a new targeted rate for online accommodation providers to bring them in line with hotels and motels.
Some providers such as Airbnb or Bookabach hosts in Kumeu, Murawai right across to Leigh say they have left the online accommodation service as a result of a new tax, according to Cr Greg Sayers.
“It was another double whammy tax for many because they are being stung with both a bed tax and also suddenly being charged higher business rates,” says Sayers.
Rodney was successfully excluded from the accommodation provider targeted rate portion as the revenue gathered is to go towards putting on major events and attracting tourists to the central city rather than to the Rodney area.
Bookabach general manager Peter Miles said his company had flagged concerns that rate rises would be excessive during the consultation period.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett criticised the charges, saying that central government already claimed business tax from these small businesses. Auckland Council was entitled, at most, to charge a business rate on the part of a private residence which was being used as a commercial operation, Barnett said.
Cr Sayers voted against the introduction of the new targeted rate saying it wasn’t a proper bed tax which could be passed on as a line item to a traveller. Rates are an overhead and an accommodation provider will have to put up their nightly rates to compensate he said.
“This means Kiwi families and tourists will have to pay more,” said Sayers. “Fundamentally it’s a money grab and it’s wrong.”
Any queries about the accommodation provider targeted rate can be directed to Auckland Council at 09 979 5500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org