MRDT – also known as Hotel Tax – applies to short-term tourist accommodation, including hotel rooms. This 3% hotel tax is in addition to the eight per cent Provincial Sales Tax (PST).
The MRDT tax program was originally established by the Province in 1987 to support the financing and operations of incremental tourist related facilities as well as ongoing funding of tourism marketing and associated programs.
In Whistler, MRDT revenues are received by the RMOW and shared equally with Tourism Whistler based on a number of agreements. Revenues are reinvested by both organizations on behalf of the community. Expenditures are approved by, and reported back to, the Province to ensure ongoing alignment with the prescribed purposes of the tax as outlined in the Provincial Sales Tax Act.
In 2021, the RMOW’s share was budgeted for $2.6 million. These funds are leveraged to enhance the tourism experience and encourage travel in shoulder seasons and mid-week.
MRDT (along with the Resort Municipality Initiative) has been critical for Whistler to supplement property tax revenues and ensure a revenue stream directly from, and reinvested back into, the tourism economy.
Increase to three per cent
The Province of B.C. increased the amount of MRDT that Whistler receives from two to three per cent on November 2018.
Changes to online accommodation
Airbnb and other online accommodation providers are legally required to submit PST and MRDT on short-term accommodation of less than 27 days.
The Province started collecting MRDT on tourist rentals listed on online accommodation providers on October 1, 2018. Compliance is legal requirement, and fines are in place for non-compliance, late filings or remittances.
Incremental funds collected through online accommodation providers are also eligible to be invested in affordable housing. The Province requires interested communities to submit an additional annual proposal to the Province. The RMOW has invested 100 per cent of its share of online accommodation provider revenues into the Cheakamus Crossing Phase II (Lot 1) affordable housing project since 2019.