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CALL TO ACTION:

HOTEL TAXES & OTHER HOSPITALITY TAXES FOR MUNICIPALITIES

 Get Engaged and Raise Concerns 

The information that follows sets a detrimental industry precedence and obliteration of the Destination Marketing Programs (DMP) for municipalities. Even if your city does not have a DMP, there is a potential concern that an extra tax levied on hotel guest rooms will reduce your business. The City of Toronto is not the only municipality affected. If the Premier grants Toronto the authority, other municipalities will ask for the same.

The City of Toronto Council supported a motion to request the authority from the provincial government to implement a mandatory hotel tax on all City of Toronto hotels. Furthermore, there was a motion requesting to implement toll fees on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway. There is also a consideration of adding new fees to beverage alcohol purchases and to businesses' parking spots. 

Municipalities across Ontario have now been asking the Provincial Government for additional powers to impose new taxes and the government is evaluating this.  

YOUR IMMEDIATE VOICE ON THIS ISSUE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.    

ORHMA opposes any new hotel tax and has warned it will cause job losses, reduction of foreign direct investment in the hotel industry and other economic harm. A room tax will kill the Destination Marketing Program, damage hotel bookings and impact much of the restaurant customer traffic stemming from leisure and business including city events such as sport tournaments and conventions.  

We ask that you consider contacting your MPP by telephone or sending a letter to express your concerns.  You can find a list of MPPs with contact details here

To read the letter that ORHMA has submitted to the Premier regarding hotel tax, click here. 

For more information on this matter please contact: Tony Elenis, CEO ORHMA telenis@orhma.com and/or Leslie Smejkal, VP GR lsmejkal@orhma.com


 Messages to Deliver: 

Hotels

  • A  decision to allow the City of Toronto to add a hotel room tax will set a precedent for our city hall to implement such a tax in our community.
  • Such a tax will impact our business and will damage the opportunity to implement the successful DMP to fund sales and marketing activities (or undo the DMP for those that currently operate with it).
  • Our hotel industry will need additional government funding to support our growth in our community.
  • The hotel industry has been facing tough times in recent years in revenue shortfalls and our margins are far from 2000 year performance. Now we are showing growth and it's not acceptable for government to apply a room tax to slow us down.
  • This tax will have an effect on employment.
  • If hotels in my city get more expensive, they may become too costly to successfully bid on music, sporting and business events.
  • The hotel industry is already burdened by some of the highest property taxes in North America. The cumulative impact of the current Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) with the addition of a hotel/ lodging tax will impact the hotel sectors competitiveness and provide a competitive disadvantage in attracting investment in new and re-investment in existing hotel product.
  • The City needs to consider the impact of a hotel tax on other tourism and hospitality businesses such as transportation, restaurants, attractions and retail.
  • It is not fair to single out one sector for implementation of a new tax.
  • The DMP since 2004 has been an industry solution to a funding problem when municipal funding was repeatedly being cut back.
  • The decision is with the provincial government not the municipality.
  • We urge the province to deny this request from the City of Toronto.
  • Municipalities should not have new tax powers.

 

Restaurants

  • This hotel tax will set a precedent in other municipalities eliminating existing DMP’s and stopping new ones. This is very concerning for our industry.
  • The guests staying in my city’s hotels generate traffic to my restaurant. A hotel tax will reduce my traffic.
  • We noticed when the city’s hotels are down in business my restaurant’s traffic is reduced. The opposite happens when the hotels are busy bringing traffic up (business , tournaments and conventions)
  • The restaurant industry is a tough business with slim margins. We have been going through tough times with many pressures on the expenses. We need support not impediments such as new taxes that impact our restaurant traffic.
  • I would like to invite you to come to my restaurant so that I can introduce you to my staff so that you can hear from them on their perspective on any new taxes and how it would impact jobs.
  • Municipalities should not have new tax powers.