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Whistler proposes new tax class for strata-hotels

Tax uncertainty impacts resort business, municipal revenue said Nelson

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The Class 1 rate is appealing for strata owners because the commercial tax rate in Tofino is roughly twice the residential rate.

"We’d like to see a better resolution than the current one," said Martin Gee, treasurer with the District of Tofino.

He said Tofino has expressed its concerns to the province but they’re not actively lobbying for change, choosing to allow lobbying efforts to go through the Resort Task Force.

Whistler plays an integral part on that Task Force, whose mandate is to identify the barriers faced by resorts and streamline processes and policies so that investors know they are welcome in British Columbia.

O’Reilly said there is no way to tell if the province will change its tax policy and move to a one class system for all short-term tourism accommodations. But with support from other resort communities, he said, the case is stronger.

"We’ll continue to press the issue," he said.

"We’ve got support from those other communities. Politically it could be very positive because it’s part of their Task Force and resort management.…

"It’s really important that we get some stability and get this resolved so that we have some confidence in the future when we’re trying to plan long term budgets and operations and setting rates."