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

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

airbnbCity of Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Traffic waits at the intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue. A study found failing levels of service at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left-moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Province supports potential interim improvements to Sidney intersection

Province says interchange is the long-term plan for intersection of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read