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Kiwi Taxpayers Challenge Gov't On New 'Travel Tax'

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

22 May 2015


New Zealand's Taxpayers' Union has launched a campaign challenging plans for a new levy on travelers, which was announced by Finance Minister Bill English in his 2015 Budget speech on May 21.

English said in his speech that the Government will introduce a Border Clearance Levy to fund passenger-related biosecurity and customs activities at the border. The new levy is expected to take effect from January 1, 2016, and, subject to consultation, will be around NZD16 (USD11.7) for arriving passengers and around NZD6 for departing passengers. It will raise around NZD100m a year.

Currently, the cost of these activities – which protect New Zealand from imported pests, diseases, illegal drugs, and other threats – are met by taxpayers, English said.

The Taxpayers Union said in a statement that the new levy will "clip the wings of Kiwi families." It said that a family of four from New Zealand will have to pay NZD80 more for a ticket to the Gold Coast in Australia as a result of the levy.

"With the economy recovering and the surplus just out of reach, why are the Government taxing the aspirations of working New Zealanders rather than cutting Government waste?" the Union said.

TAGS: tax | aviation | Australia | travel and tourism | New Zealand | Tax

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