GDC’s GST tax-back remit carried


AFTER hearing from Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon, the national body that represents all 78 local authorities in New Zealand will now lobby the Government to return a proportion of GST earnings to the districts where goods are purchased.

At the Local Government New Zealand annual meeting on Wednesday, 68 percent of elected delegates voted to accept Gisborne District Council’s proposal to return 15 percent of GST to regions to fund regional tourism infrastructure and operating costs.

Mr Foon presented the proposal.

“The remit was carried with an overwhelming majority,” he said.

The proposal was the fairest universal tax to pay for operating costs and capital, something the existing system did not do.

“For example, GDC received over $100,000 for toilets but the ratepayer still has to pay for cleaning, maintenance, toilet rolls. On the other hand, a GST tax covers all purchases from all visitors,” he said.

“They buy things in our region and a small amount is returned to the council to help pay for operations and infrastructure.

“Visitors use our roads, parks, drinking fountains, walkways, toilets, library, rubbish bins, but they don’t pay directly to the council.”

Mr Foon said while there was some suggestion the big and busy cities would get more than smaller cities, he told delegates that if a city was busy, then it deserved more, the busier it was.

“It is fair to be proportional to the number of tourists who visit because visitors are not just from overseas, they are inter-regional visitors also.”

It was important to have a conversation with political parties and the Government about the issue.

“Just relying on ratepayers is too demanding. There needs to be more recognition of New Zealand’s success in the increase in tourist numbers, and we all need to make sure they all have a great experience to take away with them.”

He thanked Wairoa District Council for seconding the resolution and other councils for their support.

Gisborne District councillors also welcomed the move.

“A proportion of GST coming to the regions is a great way to match the need with the quantum available,” Brian Wilson said.

Malcolm Maclean said it was “a really positive and fair way to collect what an area deserves”.

A LGNZ spokeswoman said the remit had the support of a number of rural, district and city councils.

“This remit asks that LGNZ request the Government to use the appropriate mechanisms to enable a proportion of the 15 percent goods and services tax to be returned to the territorial authorities and unitary councils where it was generated, so councils can use this money to pay for servicing of visitor infrastructure.”

The GDC remit was one of five adopted at the LGNZ annual meeting.

“Remits were voted on in a secret ballot. Remits passed become official policy and are actioned by Local Government New Zealand.”

AFTER hearing from Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon, the national body that represents all 78 local authorities in New Zealand will now lobby the Government to return a proportion of GST earnings to the districts where goods are purchased.

At the Local Government New Zealand annual meeting on Wednesday, 68 percent of elected delegates voted to accept Gisborne District Council’s proposal to return 15 percent of GST to regions to fund regional tourism infrastructure and operating costs.

Mr Foon presented the proposal.

“The remit was carried with an overwhelming majority,” he said.

The proposal was the fairest universal tax to pay for operating costs and capital, something the existing system did not do.

“For example, GDC received over $100,000 for toilets but the ratepayer still has to pay for cleaning, maintenance, toilet rolls. On the other hand, a GST tax covers all purchases from all visitors,” he said.

“They buy things in our region and a small amount is returned to the council to help pay for operations and infrastructure.

“Visitors use our roads, parks, drinking fountains, walkways, toilets, library, rubbish bins, but they don’t pay directly to the council.”

Mr Foon said while there was some suggestion the big and busy cities would get more than smaller cities, he told delegates that if a city was busy, then it deserved more, the busier it was.

“It is fair to be proportional to the number of tourists who visit because visitors are not just from overseas, they are inter-regional visitors also.”

It was important to have a conversation with political parties and the Government about the issue.

“Just relying on ratepayers is too demanding. There needs to be more recognition of New Zealand’s success in the increase in tourist numbers, and we all need to make sure they all have a great experience to take away with them.”

He thanked Wairoa District Council for seconding the resolution and other councils for their support.

Gisborne District councillors also welcomed the move.

“A proportion of GST coming to the regions is a great way to match the need with the quantum available,” Brian Wilson said.

Malcolm Maclean said it was “a really positive and fair way to collect what an area deserves”.

A LGNZ spokeswoman said the remit had the support of a number of rural, district and city councils.

“This remit asks that LGNZ request the Government to use the appropriate mechanisms to enable a proportion of the 15 percent goods and services tax to be returned to the territorial authorities and unitary councils where it was generated, so councils can use this money to pay for servicing of visitor infrastructure.”

The GDC remit was one of five adopted at the LGNZ annual meeting.

“Remits were voted on in a secret ballot. Remits passed become official policy and are actioned by Local Government New Zealand.”

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