Manali hoteliers oppose new taxes

Battered by various taxes and fall in tourist arrivals, as compared to previous years, hoteliers in Himachal are up in arms against the state government’s proposal to levy lump sum 10% luxury tax on all rooms of hotels even if the rooms are not occupied during peak tourist season.

Demanding continuance of the existing policy, where luxury tax is levied on the sale value of the occupied room, hoteliers said that under the new tax policy, they will have to pay tax on approvedroom tariff, throughout the season. Saying thattourism industry in Himachal is already bearing the brunt of Uttarakhand disaster, they claimed that the state has witnessed a decrease in the number of tourists after June 15. Weak infrastructure, poor condition of roads and limited tourist destinations are also responsible for the decrease in tourist arrivals, they said.

According to Manali Hoteliers’ Association president Anup Thakur, hoteliers had a meeting with principal secretary, finance, in Shimla on November 8, where the matter of levying tax on all rooms of hotels during peak season was discussed. He said it was not viable for hoteliers to switch over to lump sum luxury tax, while levying tax on approved rates only was also unjustified. “Hoteliers across the state are in favour of paying tax on existing system where 10% luxury tax is being paid on the basis of actual sale rate.”

Read the full report here, Times of India


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