The Province of British Columbia is extending by five years the Resort Municipality Initiative, a program that provides resort communities with hotel tax transfers.
Bill Barratt, chief administrative officer at the Resort Municipality of Whistler, spoke to Pique as the municipality was holding a press conference to recognize the province's contributions to tourism through the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI). The RMI provides resort communities with finance, development and business promotion tools to enhance B.C.'s resort sector.
The RMI, which includes the resort transfer tax, was scheduled to expire June 30, 2011. Discussions were underway about extending the initiative, but those discussions appear to have been completed.
On Thursday Barratt confirmed to Pique that the Resort Municipality Initiative has been extended for five years beyond 2011.
"There's actually no discussions," he said. "We've been informed that we're moving forward with our next five-year plan, past 2011.
"We've been told to submit our plans, I take that as an indication that it's going to continue."
Under the RMI Whistler and other resort communities receive between one and four per cent of the eight per cent hotel tax the province collects each time a hotel room is booked. Whistler receives between $4 million and $6 million annually through the resort transfer tax.