A representative of the Rotorua Resident and Ratepayers group, Glenys Searancke, is quoted as saying the best way for our city to collect a tax from visiting tourists, is via a bed tax (Rotorua Daily Post, September 30). She claims that such a tax is simple as it is simply added to the bottom of the visitors charges.
That part is indeed simple, even though it could come as an unwelcome surprise to a visitor.
More importantly, it should be clear to her and her association that such a method would require a considerable effort in manpower to administer.
Would she have every accommodation outlet, including B & B operators, camp ground, hotel, motel etc being required to fill out monthly returns to council, to account for the money that they have collected on behalf of Rotorua? And would she accept yet another department be set up within our council in order to monitor and police what has been paid? She has often commented that council staff numbers should be reduced, not raised.
Extraction from the visitor may well be simple, but the ongoing administration costs and headaches could well take the gloss off any amount collected.
How Finland houses homeless
Rather than perpetuating links with South Korea (including the infamous mud importation debacle), it may behove mayor Steve Chadwick and MP for Rotorua Todd McClay, to visit Finland.
In the past five years, Finland has housed 16,000 homeless people, with an 80 per cent success rate. The project, "Housing First", is the result of collaboration between central and local government, and NGOs. Sadly, the only collaboration Rotorua is seeing currently with respect to our critical housing shortage, is the purchase of land for subdivisions to house the comfortable and the well heeled.
It is to be hoped that a change of government is imminent.