Hotels pay only 30pc of provincial tax
PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) has collected about 30% of the much-reviled hotel room tax and plans to pursue the hotels that have failed to cough up the remaining 70%, which is worth close to 95 million baht. The 40 million baht collected so far is to be spent on various tourism-related projects, including the provision of lifeguards at beaches. The OrBorJor will consult with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Phuket Tourism Association, the Phuket Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Chapter of the Thai Hotel Association, on other ways the money might be spent. Hanchai Chantarachota, Chairman of the Tourism Committee of the OrBorJor, told the Gazette that the 40 million baht had been collected since October, mostly from small and medium-sized hotels. He had heard that some hotels had collected the tax from guests but had failed to pass it on to the OrBorJor, and that other hotels, particularly in the Kata-Karon area, had apparently decided that they would never pay the tax. But, he said, “We expect that next year we will be able to collect 100% of the tax once the hotels see how important it is to develop tourism in Phuket.” Hotels are supposed to deliver the tax collected each month by the 10th of the following month. The penalty for failing to do so is a fine of up to 5,000 baht, or imprisonment of up to three months, or both. Introduced amid controversy two years ago, the tax is currently levied at a rate of 1% of room revenues.
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