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TIA seeks higher GST revenue for local government

TIA says a national solution is needed to funnel funding down to local government level.

The New Zealand government is being lobbied to distribute a 20 per cent share of revenue generated from GST paid by international visitors back to local government to fund regional tourism and infrastructure.

Currently being assessed by the NZ Productivity Commission, a TIA submission says a national solution is needed to provide local councils with additional funding to provide the services and infrastructure needed on a local level to continuing supporting the growth of regional tourism sectors. The organisation says the existing collection system is adequate and that it would avoid imposing a new tax on New Zealanders.

Industry leaders and regional tourism representatives were consulted on the matter in formulating the submission, with multiple options considered on how to best help local councils.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa CEO, Chris Roberts, said international visitors pay approximately NZD$1.7 billion in GST per year.

“There are regions under pressure from tourism growth and the current funding systems are inadequate to manage that growth. Other regions want to attract more visitors but have limited financial ability to do so.

“While it might be argued Central Government already returns a portion of its tax take to the regions via current tourism-related funds such as the Tourism Infrastructure Fund and Provincial Growth Fund, both are short-term solutions where a sustainable, long-term solution is required.”

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