The City of Victoria’s plans to regulate short-term rental locations isn’t likely to change given the news that Airbnb will be remitting provincial sales tax in B.C. on behalf of its hosts. Airbnb

Airbnb to collect provincial sales tax in B.C.

The company will begin gathering 8 per cent PST and the up-to-3 percent MRDT

The City of Victoria is anticipating that the province’s new taxation on short-term rental industry leader Airbnb will level the playing field between businesses and help provide much needed housing.

“Essentially the regulations the province brought in today are making Airbnb pay taxes just like any other business. It’s making them play by the rules,” said Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday, council’s spokesperson on the issue.

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James echoed that statement at Wednesday’s announcement that her ministry has reached an arrangement with the home accommodation company that will enable it to collect provincial sales tax on all short-term rentals booked through its online platform. The decision is in line with the government’s move toward new tax models that help with tax fairness, she added.

“This is about a fair playing field, especially in the hospitality industry,” James said.

Airbnb will begin collecting the eight-per-cent PST and up to three per cent in municipal and regional district taxes generated through the short-term accommodation its operators provide within the province.

To streamline this process, Airbnb will remit on behalf of its hosts in B.C., ensuring no additional administrative burden is placed on the operators.

Late last year the City of Victoria began to adjust its zoning regulations to prevent short-term rentals from springing up in and around downtown, as a way to help slow the removal of previously long-term rental suites for use as potentially higher-yield night-by-night rentals.

RELATED: City to hire contractor to study short-term rentals in Victoria

Even with the “welcome announcement” that funds will be collected to support the province’s housing affordability plans, Loveday said there was no expectation that the move would have any impact on the direction the City is moving in regulating short-term rentals through zoning bylaws and business licensing.

As for the affect on the end user, he said, “I’m sure that operators will just pass these costs on to their guests.”

“For the most part, the short-term rental operators that I’ve spoken to have said they want to comply with the rules and they want to be contributing businesses.”

James said with Airbnb becoming involved with a sharing agreement it will push other short-term rental companies to do the same.

“This is a defining moment for Airbnb in British Columbia,” said Alex Dagg, public policy manager for Airbnb in Canada. “These changes are a welcome opportunity to continue helping the province and its residents benefit from the positive economic impacts of home sharing.”

According to the B.C. government, if Airbnb contributed to this tax in 2017 they would have collected about $18 million. The company first began remitting taxes in Portland and is looking to do so in other areas.

Besides contributing to affordable housing, the tax money will also go toward promoting local tourism.

– with files from Jen Zielinski

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Two Sidney seniors struck by vehicle with foggy windows in marked crosswalk

Driver fined for failure to yield, limited visibility caused by foggy windows

Hundreds flock to the Bay for annual Unwrap the Glam Gala

Glamorous event supports mental health initiatives across Canada

Quebec City beats Victoria for lowest unemployment rate in Canada

Victoria’s unemployment rate was 3.2 per cent in October

Barbecue cooks up benefits for Movember foundation

Father’s battle with prostate cancer encourages Victoria man to support the cause

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Campbell River RCMP officer assaulted during traffic stop

Officer expected to make a full recovery; had been conducting impaired driving investigation alone

BC SPCA seeks help after senior cat attacked by dog twice

Nine-year-old tabby named Meow Meow will need her front leg amputated

Abbotsford police chief mulls more enforcement of homeless lawbreakers

‘When all else has failed we have to hold people accountable,’ Police Chief Mike Serr tells council

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

Most Read