Room tax proposed

Christina Lake Community Association is pushing discussion about a room tax to fund a destination marketing organization.

Hotel and motel owners across the Boundary are being asked to support a two per cent tax on their occupied rooms. Revenue from the tax would fund a destination marketing organization with the goal of increasing bed stays in the shoulder season through direct marketing of the region.

Cindy Alblas came to the Greenwood council meeting on Monday, Jan. 12 to ask council to support the initiative. Working for the Christina Gateway Development Community Association, Alblas said she has been spent about 30 hours a week working on the project since last September. A survey of accommodators has been completed that shows about 60 per cent support for the proposal. A simple majority would be sufficient to make application, but Alblas is aiming for 80 per cent.

Collection of the accommodation tax would be mandatory if approved byVictoria. According to Alblas, the Boundary is the only area in B.C. that does not charge this two per cent.

She said that to date her focus has been on the hotels and motels, but she will be meeting with other businesses such as Deadwood Junction and the Motherlode. “I will give you a complete report on Greenwood,” she promised, “but the report I am giving to you today is the Boundarywide report.”

She estimates between $30,000 and $40,000 in new revenue might come in from the tax. Seventy per cent of the tax would be directed to marketing the region with the purpose of increasing bed stays; with the remaining 30 per cent used for administration.

She asked the city to encourage local hotels and motels to sign on.

Accommodators from across the Boundary have been invited to a meeting on Feb. 3 to discuss ideas about what other destination marketing organizations have done in their communities. Alblas said presenters from other destination marketing organizations (DMOs) would be on hand.

She hopes to form a DMO from the leaders at the Feb. 3 meeting to move the application process forward. After that it could take up to a year for approval from the province.


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