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Town in Niseko ski resort area to tax lodgers

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Make the visitors pay more tax for what?

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Make the visitors pay more tax for what?

140,000 lodgers a year aren't an insignificant amount of people and that puts strain on the towns resources. Roads need to be cleared, fixed and maintained. Sewage and Water needs to be kept in operating order. Garbage collection etc.

With a population that is declining the income to cover these expenses is getting less every year, so the town is adding a very small lodging tax that will contribute to those funds because ultimately, the visitors still use these facilities.

Most all major tourist areas do this in the world, you just might not be aware of it since its usually included in your hotel bill.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

so bascially a tax on top of another tax, so itll be 10% now and 12% in Oct 2019. let the lodgers stay where their money get the best value for money, many more ski resorts than just Niseko

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I was last in Kutchan in 1999. After hiking Yotei-zan, I hitchhiked back to the town and stumbled across a darn good pizza shop. I can only imagine how much development has occurred since.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Kutchan and Niseko are the only towns in Japan that make me feel as I was in USA. The place has a good international vibe and you can find many more Japanese that at least understand English and won't shy away as someone speaks another language.

many more ski resorts than just Niseko

Yes, many other resorts but Niseko is the biggest and best geared towards both locals and internationals.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is an expensive destination to begin with and now it is going to get more expensive???

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

They should have to pay a ¥1000 a day heritage tax to walk on the streets.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is a non issue...skiers who come to Niseko from Aus or Asia and pay say 100 bucks a night are not gonna give a damn about extra 2 bucks in lodging tax and if its used to maintain or improve the town infrastructure or services its all good.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan is an expensive destination to begin with and now it is going to get more expensive???

Japan hasn't been an expensive destination for many years now. In fact, it's a bit of a bargain.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Kutchan and Niseko are the only towns in Japan that make me feel as I was in USA. The place has a good international vibe and you can find many more Japanese that at least understand English and won't shy away as someone speaks another language.

No kidding, If you speak Japanese only you would have problem in Niseko, I tell you

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Cash grab much? Why not just put their prices up by 2% and be done with it? Mind you, this will be on top of the 2% sales tax increase next year. Next they’ll be expecting tourists to pay city taxes.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Cash grab much?

No, not much, as long as they keep it where it is. It's 2000 yen for every 100,000 yen spent on accommodation, a negligible amount for the tourist. And seeing as tourists do put an extra strain on things, it's not actually unreasonable. For much of the year, Kutchan is little more than a small agricultural town, main crop potatoes. Raising a bit of revenue directly from tourists isn't unreasonable. Ploughing the roads alone is an enormous cost throughout the winter, and there are plenty of other things that tourists need done for them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@commanteer

Japan hasn't been an expensive destination for many years now. In fact, it's a bit of a bargain.

It depends if the tourist doesn’t mind slumming it in a small room, eating at convenience stores, taking the bus and not doing any nightlife but I’d rather watch my money go further outside Japan.....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It depends if the tourist doesn’t mind slumming it in a small room, eating at convenience stores, taking the bus and not doing any nightlife but I’d rather watch my money go further outside Japan

So do.

Personally speaking, most of my tourism in any country has involved slumming it in small rooms. I'm too stingy to enjoy spending more than about $100 a night on accommodation, and often shoot for far less than that. And the fact is that in many cities (and towns) around the world, $100 doesn't get you very much. Having visited Japan many times in the past, though, I'll say I never needed to subsist on convenience store food. Considering how cheap it is to eat at basic restaurants, that sounds suspiciously like turning up in a country with insufficient funds. People who come here on a vagrant's budget, or expect to pay Thailand/Indonesia prices, are obviously going to be sorely disappointed. They're also severely deluded.

The internet provides more than enough opportunities for people to do some preparation before they come - if you think it's expensive now, you should have seen it thirty years ago. Or forty - when everywhere else in Asia, including some places that have now nearly caught up with Japan prices - were very inexpensive.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The small lodging tax complainers here must never come to Florida.Orlando has a 6% resort tax on top of the state sales tax.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Or Honolulu with a 10% hotel room tax.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What happens if you hire a camper van ?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JapanFanDec. 13  11:38 pm JST Or Honolulu with a 10% hotel room tax.

There isn't a major city in the U.S. that doesn't have hospitality taxes of one sort or another.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That's fine. It keeps some taxes local and goes towards local business.

Nice powder right now, go if you can!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Niseko! I miss the Niseko I grew to love and enjoy back in the early 2000s when it still had its Japanese charm and the Onsens maintained their traditional charm; free of loud, chu-hai guzzling foreignors that dispose of their cans in the water. In additon, my favorite Izakaiya restuarant now caters to foreignors and fails to deliver traditional delicacies that are native to Northern Japan. Kutchan remains a quiet village, but Niseko has grown to become a total Western town which resembles, Whistler, Mammoth, and Aspen; with expensive luxury accommodations, Western food, rude snowboarders & skiers, and long lift lines.

As a fellow American that lived in Japn for decades, I see it as Gentrification with regards to the locals in Kutchan. The powder snow is becoming too expensive for them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

so bascially a tax on top of another tax, so itll be 10% now and 12% in Oct 2019. let the lodgers stay where their money get the best value for money, many more ski resorts than just Niseko

Not actually, as the 2% is for lodging only. The consumption tax is on everything purchased. Not to mention that while it was also mentioned in another response, this is not an uncommon practice either.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The small lodging tax complainers here must never come to Florida.Orlando has a 6% resort tax on top of the state sales tax.

Why are you complaining? Florida is the only state east of the Mississippi that doesn't have a state income tax, so the sales tax covers the state services instead!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hawaii transient accommodations tax is an amount added to the daily cost of your lodging. The current rate of this tax, as of January 2018, is 10.25 percent. This tax is in addition to the GET, which is added to the cost of your lodging. Many resorts also charge their own daily activity or resort fee, a mandatory amount for added services such as free WiFi, local phone calls, use of various facilities, etc. Accommodations that do not charge a resort fee usually charge separately for parking. Example of how these costs can quickly add up. If you are staying on Oahu in a hotel which charges $200 per night and has a $25 resort fee, you will pay: $200 for the room, $9.42 in GET, $20.50 for transient accommodations tax and $25 for resort fee or parking. Your total daily charge will not be $200 per night, but rather $254.92 or about 25 percent more than you were originally quoted for the room.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Don't all indirect taxes create dead weight loss in the economy, unless, rarely, demand is perfectly inelastic? meaning the amount of taxes collected is less than the amount of sales lost

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Montreal is 18%, including 3 different types of taxes. Hotel, GST and QST.

2% is a pittance, comparatively.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I bet most of the tax revenues goes towards city and other government payroll and associated social security taxes, as opposed to actual increase in services like road repairs, healthcare, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Don't all indirect taxes create dead weight loss in the economy, unless, rarely, demand is perfectly inelastic? 

Yes. Often true. But I have never heard of a tourist cancelling because of a tax. It would have to be quite hefty to make someone choose an alternate destination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If it was a fixed fee, I could understand but a rolling % is difficult to understand when other precedence has already been set in major cities with significant year round tourist visitation.

This seems like a purely 'foreigner targeted' tax grab.

The Niseko area already generates huge amounts of tax from the building of these new condominium complexes, luxury houses and hotels but you wouldn't know when you visit. Who knows where the money is being spent but Kutchan, as a large rural town/small city looks no different to any other similar rural town/small city in countryside Japan that doesn't receive the same windfall generated by the continual sale of land and houses.

As @bearandrodent says, the 2% won't go to where it is needed, it will go into the administrative process of policing the collection of the 2% from the accommodation provider which will be harder than one expects.

I agree something needs to be done but my experience with initiatives like this in similar situations in Japan leads me to believe that it will be a lot of paper pushing, a lack of direction and decision making and many years of policy changes before something resembling a successful outcome for the area is achieved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exactly!

Rarely do taxes get spent on necessary expenditure.

I know schools in densely populated areas turning off heating in winter because funding to pay for fuel is absent-that is one example.

There are many more...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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