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October 27, 2017 6:42 pm

Hotel Tax Boost Approved

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 @ 9:18 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  As of July 1st this year,  the  tax applied to hotel accommodation in Prince George will be  increased to 3 percent.

The  increase,  requested by the City of Prince George in collaboration with Tourism Prince George, has been given the green light  under the Municipal and Regional District Tax Program.  The current tax is 2%.

“Tourism Prince George is very pleased to announce that our MRDT application has been successful and we propose to use the funds to increase and attract higher profile sport events and meetings and conventions to the City,” says CEO Erica Hummel.

The tax program is intended to contribute to an increase in local tourism revenue, visitation, and economic benefits.

“Council is pleased that Tourism Prince George will now be able to draw upon this increased resource to attract bigger, better, and even more events to our city,” says Lyn Hall, “A city’s ability to attract sport and event tourism is a vital piece of the local economy. We are pleased that Tourism PG has an increased capacity to do this important work and we thank them for their on-going efforts on behalf of our city.”


Yay more taxes to pay when I go to PG.

Here we go again. Another thinly disguised tax increase. In this case we have the City and Tourism Prince George (Both taxpayer funded entities) applying to the Government for a tax increase. The Government then agree’s with the increase.

Whats actually taking place here.

1. The Hotel tax in BC at present is 8% which goes to the Provincial Government for funding tourism, a Municipalities are allowed to add an additional maximum of 3%. In the case of Prince George they added 2% a few year ago, so the hotel tax in Prince George at the moment is 10%. This additional 1% will raise it to 11%.

2. We know (or should know) that the majority of people who stay in hotels in Prince George are people from the Northern Interior and should not by any stretch of the imagination be classified at tourists. They are for all intents and purposes people who come to Prince George to shop, visit doctors, dentists, hospital, the college and university etc; etc; and therefore should not be subject to the additional hotel tax.

3. Prince George could have held the additional tax at 1% but they went to 2% a few years ago, and now are going to the maximum of 3%. They have some sort of VooDoo machinations, that somehow allows them to rationalize this situation so that they can fleeze more money out of taxpayers who are already taxed to the limit. Do the care?? It does not seem so.

4. How much funding does Tourism Prince George get at the moment. Well from the 2% additional sales tax they generate approx $800,000.00 per year. In addition they are funded by the City of Prince George to the tune of $327,000.00 per year, so just these to sources generates over $1,134,887.00 for them. Now they want an additional 1%.

Its pretty obvious to me that Tourism Prince George is over funded, and under worked, and should not have been allowed under any circumstances to increase this hotel tax.

You can see their financial report on the Cities website.

    This is your standard post to every story that mentions the Hotel Tax and has been for years. I have two questions:
    1. Do you cut and paste this post from previous stories or do yoh write the same thing manually every time?
    2. What makes you an expert on the definition of what a tourist is and why do you feel it supercedes pretty much every other established definition set by tourism organizations throughout the world?

      1. I do it manually every time. Its easy to remember something if its a con.

      2. I am not interested in how Government run entities classify tourists, because for all intents and purposes the information they put out is more baffle gab that fact.

      People in North Central BC have to come to Prince George for all the services that are not available in the outlying areas. They do not have a choice. A tourist on the other hand can do what ever he/she wants. There is a huge difference between coming to Prince George to vist someone in the Cancer clinic, or hospital, and coming to Prince George to go fishing, or hunting.

      3. This tax on people who stay in hotel rooms is a terrible way to generate money for tourism. Perhaps we should assess a tax on people who DO NOT stay in hotels, and then we would generate a lot more money.

      4. I notice you zeroed in on my comments, but neglected to ask the real question. Why does tourism Prince George need over $1 Million per year to operate. Do you really believe that they are effectively getting any bang for their buck?? What do you suppose 8 people in the tourism office would be doing say from October to May.???

      I agree with you on some things regarding this topic. Tourism PG probably shouldn’t need to exist because, let’s be honest, PG is a gas stop on the way to or from Alaska for the most part.
      Secondly, putting what I said aside, hotel taxes are used the world over, some in tradional tourist destinations, some not. The idea is not new, nor is PG the first to implement it.
      You can continue to assert that people who stay in hotels aren’t tourists by your definition and that should mean something, but in reality it doesn’t.

      What do you suppose 8 people in the tourism office would be doing say from October to May.???
      That is when they brainstorm up ways to increase their pay.

    A lot of people had to be onside to get this thing through, including 51% of accommodation owners representing at least 51% of the available rooms in the tax area. It wasn’t just arbitrary. I guess enough people thought it would have a big enough payback to outweigh any potential deterrent.

    Governments actually have the information they disseminate audited, for what that’s worth. Too bad the same requirement couldn’t be made of the noise you make. What do you care about a hotel tax? How does that impact you in any way? Don’t like it, then rent out your house to travelers and compete with the hotel tax. Don’t forget to charge enough to cover your costs, including your taxes and utilities.

    “The Hotel tax in BC at present is 8% which goes to the Provincial Government for funding tourism”

    Wrong …. it used to be. Here is the explanation for why Tourism in BC is funded from the general PST rather than the specific 8% PST charged on Accommodation. (The simple version is that the 8% and the 7% taxes are not tracked separately)

    “For 2013/14, Destination BC will receive $48.89 M in funding from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. This is the same amount of money that government has spent on tourism marketing for the last few years.
    Government has committed that the source of Destination BC’s funding will be converted to be a portion of sales tax revenue starting April 1, 2014.
    Tourism BC, the former tourism Crown corporation, was funded through a portion of hotel room tax. At that time the Hotel Room Tax Act (HRTA) existed to facilitate this.

    The Hotel Room Tax was reinstated with the re-introduction of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST). However, it is now covered in the Provincial Sales Tax Act (PSTA) instead of the HRTA. The PSTA does not require hotels to separately report hotel tax revenue – this is part of the streamlining. This is because the new PSTA simplifies and reduces administration and compliance costs for tourism sector businesses – a specific commitment of government with the return to the PST.

    The Destination BC Corp. Act established Destination BC as a statutory Crown corporation.

    The legislation establishes that the funding for the corporation will be based on a percentage of provincial sales tax activity. The legislation does not however specify what portion of provincial sales tax will fund Destination BC.

    As accommodation businesses no longer separately register, collect, report and remit tax revenue in relation to accommodation activity, defining an appropriate funding formula for Destination BC within the new PST regime requires a more detailed description best addressed through regulations.

    Government intends to work with the tourism industry during 2013 to develop an appropriate formula that recognizes the sector’s contribution to provincial sales tax revenues received from the tourism sector.

    The initial tax revenue will be set so that it is at $48.89 million.
    Once funding is based on a portion of the provincial sales tax, Destination BC’s revenue will increase as tax revenue increases, and decrease if tax revenue decreases.”

    source = destinationbc.ca/About-Us/FAQ.aspx#Fund

    I know, it is difficult to keep up with all this change…. LOL … Trump has the same problems so he invents a lot of things too…… ;-)

      Cheep shot at Trump Gus,… but the reality of Destination BC is that they fund local marketing organizations like Northern BC Tourism, which themselves are independent from government as marketing organizations; and as such are not subject to freedom of information laws that would put sunshine on their own internal policies… like what media outlets this money gets spent on and how that gets the greatest utility for tourism growth, or if its just a way to subsidize politically slanted media favorites….

      Cheap shots at tRump ?
      Donnie-D-bag is a better liar than Tricky Dicky ever was.

Thanks Pal I will take my tent when I go to PG for a visit. I wish they could spend some of that money on a campsite since hey have done away with the one the city had.

Most of the rooms in pg are pretty booked for companies and government…examples are west jet air Canada…northern health ramp hydro and if you raise the hotel tax who do you think really pays it yup it’s us

    right on the money. The % of tourists(non northerners) that stay in hotels is no more than 10% during peak season (May-Sept). What they are doing is driving up the costs for locals, government employees, and corporate travelers. Another joke is government employees get a much lower rate than everybody else. Why should a motel/hotel be forced to give the government a ridiculously lower rate than the anybody else? If you charge a government employee the same rate as the next guy? There would be no need to charge another 1% hotel tax.

      “government employees get a much lower rate than everybody else”

      That is a very large group – hospital workers, teachers at all levels of education, etc.

      So do corporations, companies working on government projects, seniors even down to 55, package tours, and on and on the list goes.

      The following do not pay the tax 8% PST:

      1. the Government of Canada – do have to pay MRDT

      2. Sales to the Provincial or Federal Governments), (It simplifies bookkeeping of in and out transfers)

      3. members of the diplomatic or consular corps – exempt from PST and MRDT

Tourists can be from Northern B.C. as well as southern B.C. My wife and I like to get away for a weekend in the summer a few times so we go to Quesnel, Williams Lake, Smithers, and even Vanderhoof just to go somewhere not too expensive. I consider us tourists when we take these trips because we check out the local sights, maybe play some golf, and eat out at different restaurants. We have to pay the hotel tax in these other places, so why would people coming here not have to pay as well?

    Looks kike to me the working poor will have to get a raise in pay. Just shows you how the costs of everything keeps going up but they don’t want to increase your wages.

Duffer. We need to keep in mind that the hotel tax (now called an accomodation tax) is applicable at all hotels, etc; in BC. The additional tax of 2% or 3% is assessed by those towns and cities that have applied to the BC Government along with their tourist bureaus to assess this tax and have been approved.

So what this means is that not all towns and cities assess the additional tax.

As an example of the cities you mentioned that you vist ie; Quesnel, Williams Lake, Smithers, and Vanderhoof, only Smithers applies the additional tax of 2%.

In addition you are making a decision to visit these places as a tourist, however paying the original 8% for an accomodation tax should be sufficient, however some cities and towns want to get more money so they asses an additional 2%, or in the case of Prince George now 3%.

The money collected by the Province for the accomodation tax ie; 8% is distributed through out the Province for spending on tourism.

The problem (in my opinion) is that the additional tax is applied to all people regardless whether you are a tourist, or someone who has come to town for other business, like shopping, hospital, flying in or out, etc; etc; Some people come to Prince George every two weeks through out the year, and of course they pay this goofy tax every time.

So we could say that this is a discriminatory tax and the additional 2 or 3 percent should be eliminated.

    “We need to keep in mind that the hotel tax (now called an accommodation tax) is applicable at all hotels, etc;”

    Why would we keep a colloquial name in mind? You can call it whatever you want to such as Trump often does. That does not make it so.

    Read Bulletin PST 120 revised January 2017 = sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/bulletins/pst_120.pdf

    It states: “PST of 8% applies to sales of short-term accommodation provided in BC, unless a specific exemption applies.”

    It is called a Provincial Sales Tax which is one percent higher than the base PST in the case of a variety of accommodation types.

    It goes on to say that: “The MRDT (municipal and regional district tax) is charged in participating areas to raise revenue primarily for tourism marketing, programs and projects”

    Remember, PST can vary depending on what it is applied to. Thus PST on liquor is 10%. It is still PST.

    People may refer to taxes as accommodation tax, liquor tax, etc. The Government refers to them all as Provincial Sales Tax with different rates depending on the goods or services purchased.

    In other parts of the country such a fee may be referred to as:
    DMP (Destination Marketing Program),
    DMDF (Destination Marketing and Development Fee),
    PF (Promotion Fee),
    TIFF (Tourism Infrastructure Funding Fee); they all mean the same thing.

    Common terminology is important in order to deal with comparative statistics, especially across different countries the world over.

    Thus the OECD, an organization that Canada belongs to, refers to the following for tourism statistics

    – Leisure, recreation and holidays;
    – Visiting friends and relatives;
    – Business and professional;
    – Health treatment;
    – Religion, pilgrimages;
    – Other.

A lot of gibberish about nothing. Reality drowned in a sea of hyperbole.

Bottom line is that the City of Prince George now charge a accomodation tax of 3% on hotel rooms, up from 2% previously.

This tax will generate in excess of one million dollars per year for Tourism Prince George when you add in the $327,000.00 they get from the City on an annual basis.

This tax is in excess of the 8% hotel tax that is presently applied for accomodation.

So people from the North Central Region when staying in Prince George will now pay an 11% tax on their rooms.

The majority of this money will come from some of our best customers in the North Central Region which we all know (or should know) come to Prince George on a regular basis for all sorts of different reasons. Ie; Buying cars, groceries, merchandise, etc; etc;. We in Prince George will tax them for the ability to come to Prince George and spend money, which keeps a hell of a lot of business’s in Prince George in the black.

Am I surprised that we are squeezing these people for every nickel we can get.?
No I am not.

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