Visitors to Burlington hotels will be paying a little extra starting October 1. Burlington City Council has approved a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) for stays in hotels and motels to boost tourism efforts in the city. The tax would be placed on guests staying in accommodations in Burlington hotels and motels and will take effect on October 1, 2022.
The four per cent charge would initially generate an estimated $450,000 to $700,000 in revenue each year to support new tourism initiatives, attract visitation, bolster current marketing efforts, monitor and evaluate tourism trends through research, and provide tourism related enhancements in the community.
The City and Tourism Burlington have been working collaboratively with local hotels, motels and the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) who are supportive of the plans for a MAT in Burlington.
Once collected, fifty per cent of the funds will provided to Tourism Burlington for enhanced tourism promotion and development (as per regulation). The municipal portion of the funds (50 per cent) will be used for city initiatives that have some correlation to tourism such as recreation, culture, collaborative marketing, event hosting, wayfinding and product development.
Forty Ontario municipalities are now collecting or are in the process of collecting MAT. Municipalities include Oakville, Niagara Region, Mississauga, Toronto, Vaughan, Waterloo, and Prince Edward County.
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The City will be partnering with ORHMA to administer the MAT. Accommodation providers will send the four per cent MAT collections to ORHMA monthly. ORHMA will then reconcile the MAT collection and send the funding, less an administrative fee, to the City of Burlington including associated reporting requirements.
Commented Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward,”It’s not often we have businesses asking for a new tax – but the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) will help our businesses in the tourism industry compete for visitors. The funding will go directly toward initiatives that support tourism to Burlington, at a time they can use all the help they can get as one of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and still recovering. “