Solution found to hotel tax dispute

PHUKET: A special committee set up by Provincial Governor Charnchai Soontharamut appears to have come up with a compromise solution to the disagreement between hotels and the Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) over the OrBorTor’s planned tax on hotel rooms. According to the solution, hammered out on Friday, hotels will pay the tax from October 1, but at a reduced rate of 0.5% until the end of September next year. Thereafter, the rate will rise to 2%. The tax applies only to income from rooms. The special committee brought together Sombat Atiset, the new president of the Phuket Tourism Association (PTA) and MD of the Kata Thani Hotel and Beach Resort; Pamuke Achariyachai, former president of the PTA and president of the Kata Group of Hotels; Wisut Santikun, deputy president of the OrBorJor; Vice Governor Amnuay Sa-Nguannam; and the chiefs of the Provincial Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Provincial Revenue Office. “This 0.5% rate will have to be brought before a PTA meeting on September 21,” K. Wisut told the Gazette after the meeting. “If the PTA agrees with the rate, then the proposal will be put to a full meeting of the OrBorJor for its approval.” Hanchai Chantarachota, chairman of the OrBorJor Tourism Committee, said that the reason for the reduced rate during the first year is that the tax will have to be borne mostly by the hotels for at least six months. Thereafter, however, the cost can be passed on to hotel guests. The hotels will definitely have to pay 2% tax from October 1 next year, he explained, because by then they will have had enough time to set up new contracts with tour wholesalers and agents.

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