It’s time for the province to ensure online booking platforms like Airbnb collect required taxes
With municipalities from Tofino to Nelson and Whistler struggling to limit the negative impacts of online booking services like Airbnb on affordable and local worker housing stock, it’s time for the provincial government to close a tax loophole that is aggravating the problem.
That’s why I’ll be taking a motion to council tomorrow — it will be debated at the June 28 meeting — to call on the province, through the Union of BC municipalities, to close a loophole that is allowing the new online booking platforms to avoid collecting taxes now paid by existing operators.
The province already requires anyone offering four or more units for short-term accommodation, whether they own the units or are acting for others, to collect Provincial Sales Tax and Municipal and Regional District Tax (Hotel Tax).
But this rule is not being enforced for online platforms like Airbnb, which should clearly be covered. Our motion, if endorsed at the UBCM’s September convention, will tell the province it’s time to act to enforce these tax laws in an even-handed way.
Here’s the text of the motion:
TAX FAIRNESS FOR ONLINE ACCOMMODATION BOOKING PLATFORMS