Three reasons for no hotel tax

Re: Tourism group seeks hotel tax (NEWS, June 6)

I wish to offer a different point of view regarding the proposed municipal hotel tax.

My wife Kathy and I, own and operate Arbutus Cove Guesthouse and collect 13 per cent tax on top of our daily room rate. A quick look on Google suggests that we have 150 neighboring short term rentals in the Sooke area and 1,500 in Victoria, most of whom collect no tax.

We are opposed to an additional Sooke municipal hotel tax of two or three per cent for three reasons:

1. It will make us even less competitive with our short-term rental neighbours charging no tax

2. Although the funds collected are intended to promote tourism in Sooke, they may be diverted to affordable housing , at council’s discretion

3. We do not wish to make our guests pay more for their visit than necessary

To my knowledge there are nine properties in Sooke that collect hotel tax of which three are supportive of a municipal tax and six are against. The majority of the Juan de Fuca accommodation providers are not in favour of a regional hotel tax and it will not be considered.

The municipal hotel tax may only be adopted if properties with more than 50 per cent of the total rooms are in favor and more than 50 per cent of the property owners are in favor.

Unless some of the B&B owners change their minds, there will not be a municipal hotel tax in Sooke and we will continue to promote our B&B and Sooke with our own successful marketing programs. ​

Mike Hicks


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