City seeks to levy municipal taxes on accommodation from airbnbs

Content of the article

Belleville municipal staff are not looking to license up to 150 short-term accommodation companies (STA) in the city, says Karen Poste, head of economic and strategic initiatives.

Content of the article

However, in an address to the city’s economic development and destination committee on Thursday, Poste recommended that the city pressure the Ontario government to implement a province-wide licensing regime. the province as the municipality continues to work on some form of municipal lodging tax (MAT) collection system.

The committee, chaired by the Council. Sean Kelly, agreed to recommend that city council push the city for a provincial licensing program in partnership with the Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board, as well as continue collecting MAT from awkward accommodation owners.

Staff will also look at other ways the city can use to track and bill short-term housing in Belleville that has not paid the new tax since it was implemented two years ago.

While hotels and some guesthouse owners pay their so-called MAT, others – notably in the Airbnb industry – refuse to pay the tax.

Raising the funds could result in an increase in revenue of $ 900,000 in city coffers, staff estimates suggest.

Poste told the committee that “staff do not recommend short-term short-term housing licensing and regulation.”

But, said Poste, “we still want to make sure that we collect the municipal tax on lodging from these short-term hosts.”

Unlike Prince Edward County, which ushered in licensing to tackle a 20% loss of housing stock to the STA industry due to the tourism boom, Belleville is unaware of the same severe impacts due to airbnbs, Poste said.

Content of the article

“Our impacts can be considered minimal. From a complaints perspective, we typically have two complaints a year about short-term accommodation where Prince Edward County cited an example where they received 200 complaints in a weekend, ”Poste said. “Twenty percent of their housing stock has been occupied by short-term housing and this has had a significant impact on their housing supply available to residents. They had impacts there that were extreme. “

“We do not anticipate these kinds of impacts in the short term,” Poste said.

Thursday’s MAT and licensing discussion was kicked off earlier this year by Mayor Mitch Panciuk who asked the committee to explore new ways to recoup lost revenue from airbnb operators who continue to flout the payout system. MAT honor taxes.

“Unfortunately, we have not received the promised cooperation from Airbnb and the short-term accommodation (STA) industry is not adequately participating in MAT registration,” Panciuk wrote in a letter dated 30. April to the committee.

Dug Stevenson, of the Regional Marketing Board of the Bay of Quinte Regional Municipality, on Thursday proposed to take the initiative, together with the city, to lobby the provincial government to initiate the authorization. of STA.

Com. Tyler Allsopp suggested that city staff might consider working with a technology partner to find an app that fetches online airbnb sites and records bookings from STA businesses in the city, then tracks and bills owners for bills. ‘tax.

Comments are closed.