On November 23, 2017, the Province of Ontario issued the Transient Accommodation Regulation 435/17, which came into force December 1, 2017 and provides the necessary provisions for municipalities across Ontario to implement a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).
On October 29th, 2018, Huntsville Town Council passed By-Law 2018-131, approving the implementation of a four per cent (4%) mandatory MAT applicable on all short-term accommodations under 30 days. (See the current bylaw here.)
The MAT came into effect on April 1, 2019, and applies to all accommodation sold for a continuous period of less than 30 days in a hotel, motel, lodge, inn, or bed and breakfast.
Use of revenue generated through the program
The tax will generate funding to promote and develop tourism within Huntsville. Seventy per cent of the net revenues will be directed towards a newly established Non-Share Capital Corporation whose sole focus will be the enhancement and promotion of tourism in Huntsville. This organization will direct funds towards tourism promotion and development with a focus on attracting more visitors to Huntsville through sports and cultural events, new product developments, and enhanced attractions and outdoor activities.
The other 30 per cent of the net revenues will be retained by the Town of Huntsville, earmarked for projects and initiatives that promote and support tourism and economic development efforts that benefit residents and visitors.
About the legislation
The Municipal Accommodation Tax is a revenue tool that the provincial government has given Ontario municipalities to further promote tourism as an economic driver.
On May 17, 2017, the Province enacted Bill 127, Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act, 2017, providing municipalities the authority to levy a transient accommodation tax (hotel tax). The Transient Accommodation Regulation 435/17 came into force on December 1, 2017, outlining provisions for municipalities across Ontario to implement a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).
The Regulation applies if a municipality imposes a tax in respect of the purchase of transient accommodation in the municipality under section Municipal Act 400.1 of the Act.