Saturday, August 4, 2018

Vaughan Gunson: A tourist tax could help fund free public transport in Whangārei What I'd like to see, is any tax levied on tourists enjoying our harbour and publicly supported assets like the Hundertwasser, going towards helping us to fund free public transport.
Fare-free public transport now exists in around 100 cities and towns worldwide (with the list growing). The benefits are many: reduced private transport costs, greater freedom for younger people, less road congestion and a meaningful way of reducing net carbon emissions.
This bold idea could be sold to tourists by saying that their travel - one of the most carbon-polluting things you can do - will be offset by a levy that goes directly towards lessening the carbon emissions of the region they are visiting.
Tourists would, of course, be able to take advantage of the free public transport themselves - an attraction in itself.
This new tax could be called the "International Visitors Carbon Emissions Offset and Free Public Transport Levy". A bit of a mouthful, but they'll get the idea.
You can just see hotel staff being asked the question: "What's that charge for?"
"Oh, that's for offsetting your carbon emissions as a result of traveling to our country by helping us pay for our lovely free bus service."
Tourist: "Fair enough."

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