Business tourist fee?

The council will investigate the possibility of increasing some business' rates to cover costs incurred by tourists to the council.

The idea was broached in response to a late submission to the council's draft budget process which suggested a visitor levy be introduced.

Cr Andrew Noone agreed with Cr Jinty MacTavish that it was a good idea.

The council's rates-funding working party should investigate increasing the economic development tourism rate, he said.

The move could ultimately reduce rates for farmers and lifestylers.

"I just think that at some point we've got to consider the impact [on rural ratepayers] of the decisions we make to provide greater service levels for urban Dunedin."

He said he was not trying to create a "great divide" between the two.

However, it should be acknowledged that where services were provided, there was a difference.

Cr MacTavish, who had originally toyed with the concept of a visitor levy, said Cr Noone's motion was effectively what a levy would do.

It would pay for things such as wear and tear from increased tourist bus traffic on Portobello Rd.

"Visitors should be contributing to the upkeep and maintenance in the city, and if there's a way to address that, we should be looking at it," she said.


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