News from my home town :
Pubs angry at vomit tax
PUB owners in the regional Victorian town of Shepparton are spewing over a local council’s decision to impose a so-called vandalism and vomit tax.
The City of Greater Shepparton has increased rates for licensed premises open between 3am and 6am, promising to use the extra revenue to clean up vandalism, litter, vomit, urine and other human waste left in the streets by weekend revellers.
The council expects the pub tax will generate an extra $20,000 in revenue next year, part of the cost of having a street sweeper patrol city streets on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The owner of one of the six Shepparton pubs and clubs that stand to be affected by the rate increase said the vandalism and vandal tax was unfairly targeting licensed premises.
“They’re accusing us of being responsible for litter, vandalism and human wastes such as vomit, urination and defecation,” Ray Sharawara, owner of the Shepparton’s Goulburn Valley Hotel, said.
Mr Sharawara said pubs and clubs were required, under the conditions of their liquor licences, to keep their premises and surrounding areas clean.
Not that Shepparton, population about 30,000, has a problem with vomit and vandalism, he said.
“Shepparton is just a normal provincial town, no different to any other town,” he said.
Mr Sharawara said licensed premises should not be slugged with an 11 per cent rate increase – which will cost his business about $3,000 this year – compared to the overall rate increase of five per cent.
But Shepparton’s deputy mayor Anne McCamish said the pubs and clubs had 18 months warning of the rate increase to cover the cost of cleaning up the after-effects of late-night partying.
“Obviously the problem is coming from the licensed establishments,” she said, of the mess found in the city on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
“It’s not the kind of stuff I’d want to walk in or smell or see,” she said.
“Shopkeepers clean it up at the moment and they complain bitterly to us.”
Cr McCamish said the council could not claim credit for the new tax, given its colourful name by a councillor at last night’s council meeting – the City of Greater Geelong also imposes such a tax on its licence premises.
Taken from www.news.com.au