Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Mayor Tips Tourism Tax Overhaul

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Mayor Tips Tourism Tax Overhaul

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Zemek

SUNSHINE Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson says the region's tourism levy should be reviewed but a bed tax is not necessarily the answer.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has written to the Newman Government asking it to change state legislation to allow a levy on visitors to the city.

Cr Tate said he wanted to relieve his city's ratepayers of the $15 million annual bill for tourism services and infrastructure.

Under his proposal visitors would be slugged a "few extra dollars a night" on every hotel room stay.

It was met with strong opposition from the Accommodation Association of Australia which said it was an unnecessary burden on tourists and would result in consumers reconsidering their travel plans.

Cr Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast Council needed to reconsider the tourism levy.

He did not say whether that would involve increasing the levy or take the form of a tax.

"Council is always seeking to provide the best value for money for ratepayers and that includes considering the most efficient way to support tourism in this region," he said. …

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