The B.C. government announced last Wednesday that it has reached an arrangement with Airbnb, but it’s not yet clear how that decision will impact the City of Rossland’s regulations regarding short-term rentals.
The arrangement will allow Airbnb to collect Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and the up-to-three-per-cent Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) on short-term rentals arranged through its platform.
Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore says the arrangement is a welcome development but isn’t sure what the local impact will be.
Rossland city council adopted new short-term rental regulations in October, which may or may not be impacted by the arrangement.
“Our new regulations require all STR [short-term rentals] to pay a fee for Tourism Rossland to contribute to the expenses incurred marketing our tourism sector. The intent was to help make it a level playing field for traditional accommodators who already pay the MRDT and those offering short-term rentals, who until now did not,” said Moore. “At this point, we don’t know how it will impact us so until more details are presented, I don’t have much to say.”
Moore did add that Airbnb is just one of the online platforms to offer short-term rentals and “it would be terrific” if the Province could strike a deal with all short-term rental platforms.
The tax revenues will go into general revenue and will be used to fund affordable housing measures, according to the Ministry of Finance. The arrangement with Airbnb is just one part of the government’s housing affordability plan and more information about the government’s plan for housing will be available when the 2018 budget is introduced on Tuesday, Feb. 20.