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City says 'yes' to hotel tax

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 6th, 2014

City council voted unanimously tonight to support a Chamber-of-Commerce-led request for a two-per-cent accomodation tax bylaw request (which requires final approval by the province).

City councillor and Finances and Corporate Services Committee chair Kevin Chernoff said this means, in layman’s terms, that if you stay in a hotel in Castlegar for $100, you’ll be charged an extra $2 for the tax.

The province will collect the money, which they will then give to back to Castlegar after a $20 per month, per service provider fee to cover administrative costs.

“They’re saying it could bring us as much as $55,000 a year – and that money has to be used for marketing and promoting Castlegar as a destination,” Chernoff explained, adding the committee putting the request forward is almost entirely made up of hotel owners and management, the only exception being a Chamber representative.

“A similar tax is collected in more than 45 municipalities and regional districts throughout B.C, so it’s not a new idea,” he said, adding it’s a way to defray the costs of promoting the city such than no one hotel owner or clientelle has to bear the burden.

“It’s the hotel owners who formed this committee and brought it forward to start with,” he said, explaining decisions about where and how to spend the money will come from the same committee which asked for the tax to begin with.

Chernoff said the province still has to ratify the plan, and it will be reassessed in five years, at which point, city business owners can consider cancelling the tax.

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