Blackberry Lane B&B is one of the accommodation providers in the District of Kent that would be affected by a hotel tax if it went through. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Blackberry Lane B&B is one of the accommodation providers in the District of Kent that would be affected by a hotel tax if it went through. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

District of Kent to defer support of hotel tax until businesses approve

Tourism Harrison will be consulting with STRs in Kent about a possible three per cent hotel tax

The District of Kent is holding off on its approval for a hotel tax in the area until businesses share their opinions.

Tourism Harrison is applying to receive the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) program, more commonly known as the hotel tax, from short term accommodation rentals in the District of Kent, Harrison Hot Springs and Electoral Area C. The hotel tax works as a three per cent sale tax for people staying in hotels, bed and breakfasts, and AirBnBs, and is collected by the provincial government and administered to the designated recipient for tourism marketing purposes.

In the past, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs collected the MRDT funds on behalf of Tourism Harrison, and then passed the money along to the tourism organization. Only hotels in Harrison Hot Springs had the added three per cent tax.

This year, as the MRDT bylaw is coming up for renewal, Tourism Harrison will be applying to collect the funds on their own. They are hoping to expand the tax’s reach to include the District of Kent and Electoral Area C, which includes Harrison Mills and Hemlock Valley, as Tourism Harrison also does marketing for those areas as well.

RELATED: Tourism Harrison to become new recipient of hotel tax

In order to apply for the MRDT funds, Tourism Harrison needs to get approval from the majority of short term accommodation owners in the affected areas. The organization is currently in the process of that business consultation, and expects to have the results of the consultation by the end of February.

The final application to the province is due on March 31 of this year, and if approved, the tax would take effect in January 2022.

During the District of Kent council meeting on Monday (Feb. 8), councillors discussed the letter from Harrison Hot Springs, which requested Kent’s support in extending the taxable area. Council decided to send a letter deferring their support until local businesses had their say.

Council also talked about the need to have a representative on Tourism Harrison’s board of directors. Having a representative on the board was a key part of Harrison deciding to allow Tourism Harrison to collect the tax funds on their own, as it allowed the village some measure of oversight into the organization’s plans.

“Even though … we’re only 50 rooms compared to their 600, we still are bringing something,” Coun. Susan Spaeti said. “Right now we spend $15,000 for our tourist information centre, so it would be nice that some of the money that’s collected in the District of Kent goes towards tourism costs in the district.”

Pranger agreed, saying that someone on the board would make sure the district was getting the input it needed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Avalon Butchart in her kayak on Hicks Lake, painting in hand. (Avalon Butchart/Contributed)
Pandemic pushes Agassiz artist into plein air painting

Avalon Butchart heard a ‘call from God’ to bring her painting outdoors

The eastern Fraser Valley is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases.
11 new COVID-19 cases in Agassiz, Harrison during last week of February

The number of positive test results is a jump from the three cases the week before

RCMP were on scene under the Menzies Street bridge in Chilliwack on Thursday, March 4, 2021 where a body was found. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
UPDATE: Body found under Menzies bridge in Chilliwack that of man in 20s

Death not considered suspicious, said Chilliwack RCMP

Alan Pryor in 2015, during the Agassiz Fire Department’s 70th year. (Greg Laychak/The Observer)
Agassiz fireman celebrates 51 years at the hall

Al Pryor has been a key member in the Agassiz Fire Department since he was 16

Items seized by Chilliwack RCMP and Abbotsford Police during a Feb. 23 traffic stop. (RCMP photo)
Police from Chilliwack and Abbotsford seize drugs in traffic stop

Chilliwack RCMP worked with the Abbotsford PD to seize four kilograms of suspected fentanyl

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Most Read