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

Kent council supports hotel tax coming to Agassiz

If approved by the province, the tax will be coming to accommodation sales January 2022

The District of Kent will be supporting Tourism Harrison’s bid to expand a three per cent hotel tax to accommodation providers in the municipality.

During its meeting Monday (March 22), Kent council approved sending a letter of recommendation to

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs had collected the three per cent hotel tax, known at the Municipal and Regional District Tax or MRDT, on behalf of Tourism Harrison. The tax is meant to help tourism organizations with marketing their region and makes up the bulk of Tourism Harrison’s funding.

In early February, Tourism Harrison decided to collect the hotel tax on its own, and also expand its coverage area to include the District of Kent and Electoral Area C.

RELATED: FVRD to support hotel tax expansion in Hemlock, Harrison Mills despite area director opposition

During the Fraser Valley Regional District’s board meeting on Thursday, March 18, the board voted to support the MRDT expansion into Area C despite area director Wendy Bales being opposed on behalf of residents who felt there was already too much tourism.

Kent council initially discussed Tourism Harrison’s proposal back in early February, but decided to wait until Tourism Harrison had an opportunity to discuss the proposal with the local accommodation providers before sending a letter of support.

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

According to a staff report, three of Kent’s five accommodation providers supported the proposed tax. The Agassiz-Harrison Chamber of Commerce also endorsed Tourism Harrison’s plan, which would see the organization re-branded to support tourism in the “Harrison River Valley.”

Council voted to send a letter of support to Tourism Harrison, which will accompany the organization’s application to the province to receive the MRDT. Council also voted in favour of having Coun. Susan Spaeti and a senior staff member join the Tourism Harrison board.

Tourism Harrison has until March 31 to submit its application to the province to bring MRDT to Electoral Area C and Kent, and to renew the tax in Harrison Hot Springs. If approved, the tax will take effect in January 2022.

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