The Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) is urging civic politicians across B.C., as well as the provincial government to develop and enforce regulations to deal with the proliferation of short-term vacation rental (STRs) accommodation in dozens of communities across the province.
During a lively and engaging panel at the UBCM conference in Victoria, panelists and delegates talked about the shrinking and unaffordable rental pool in many communities that has caused residents to leave and contributed to the difficulty employers have in attracting employees.
Recognizing that there is no one solution to the complex issue of short-term vacation rentals, TIABC suggested the province can play a role by eliminating the exemption on PST and the Municipal & Regional District Tax that owners of properties with less than four rooms receive under current regulation.
The organization also urged local government delegates at UBCM to develop and/or enforce their own community regulations on STRs, to not only compel property owners to legally offer rooms for rent, but to level the playing field for traditional accommodation providers (hotels, B&Bs, resorts) who pay significant provincial and business taxes.
The session on STRs took place one day after delegates passed a resolution that committed UBCM to working with several provincial government ministries to review the current tax policy that prevents small accommodation providers and online platforms such as Airbnb from collecting the requisite accommodation taxes that could add millions of dollars in revenues to provincial coffers and bolster marketing funds for community destination marketing organizations.
(Editor’s Note: The above was a press release sent to numerous media outlets from the TIABC.)
Courtesy of Laura Plant, communications manager
The Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia