The MRDT program was originally introduced to raise revenue for local tourism marketing programs and projects. The 2018 Budget expanded permissible use of MRDT and Online Accommodation Platform (OAP) tax revenues to include affordable housing. The municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) was used only to fund tourism marketing and product development. Expanding permissible use of MRDT and OAP revenues to include affordable housing has concerned the tourism and hotel community. Redirecting MRDT revenues into other initiatives, will subsequently be a reduction in funding available for tourism marketing, which would have a critical impact on many communities around BC that rely on this funding.
What BCHA is Doing To Help
We seek a dedicated commitment from the government to hold the communities accountable through a requirement to implement a short-term-rental (STR) regulatory framework, in order for the communities to be able to access the MRDT/OAP funds. The regulations should be rigorous and substantial requiring an evaluation of the STR application system, business licenses, and a reporting-out mechanism.