City report recommends inclusion of CSRD Area B and increase in MRDT ‘hotel’ tax

The City of Revelstoke proposes an MRDT tax increase and expansion of the collection area to include accommodators in Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area B.

CSRD Area B is highlighted in dark green. Photo: Columbia Shuswap Regional District

As a resort municipality, accommodators in Revelstoke collect a Municipal and Regional District tax (MRDT) that gets returned into a fund dedicated to tourism projects. The tax is imposed whenever accommodation is purchased in municipalities or regional districts. City council members voted to read Municipal & Regional District Tax Levy Amendment Bylaw No. 2343 during the council meeting on August 9, 2022, which would expand the collection area the tax is imposed in. 

The province returns the revenue collected by the tax into a fund dedicated to tourism and community development. That fund is managed by the Revelstoke Accommodation Association (RAA). 

The Revelstoke Accommodation Association is the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the City of Revelstoke, currently consisting of 20 hotels, motels, resorts, lodges, inns and hostels. The RAA also works with the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce, the City of Revelstoke Community Economic Development, various clubs, societies and organizations, and private business stakeholders.

The amendment seeks to include Columbia-Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Area B in the bylaw, so the tax is applicable in the area spanning from Mica Dam down to Trout lake.

CSRD area B is shaded in the light green colour outlined by the yellow line. Photo: Columbia Shuswap Regional District

A report prepared by city staff states that the amendment is desirable because the inclusion of this area would grow the Online Accommodation Platform (OAP) fund for affordable housing. The area consists of short-term vacation rentals and heli-ski lodging that Ingrid Bron, Director of Community Economic Development, said are already benefiting from tourism efforts and marketing done in Revelstoke. 

This amendment comes after the Revelstoke Accommodation Association (RAA) Annual General Meeting in June 2022, where over 50% of members voted to approve the MRDT tax increase from 2% to 3%. As a result, city staff were directed to create a Bylaw to impose an additional Accommodation Tax within the limits of the City of Revelstoke under the provisions of the Provincial Sales Tax Act

The application package containing the new bylaw was submitted to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on August 1. Bron was advised it would be advantageous to include the proposed expansion of the collection area at the same time as increasing the tax rate from 2% to 3%, city staff say in the report.

As a result, the deadline for the application was extended by the ministry until the end of August, allowing tourism staff to seek approval from additional accommodators in Area B to meet the ministry criteria.

Nora Hughes is a recent graduate of the Thompson Rivers University Interdisciplinary Program, where she combined her passions for Adventure Tourism, Communications and Journalism. With a strong interest in community news, Nora is passionate about giving a voice and face to the people of Revelstoke through storytelling.