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

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read