Tourist tax coming to Point Edward in New Year
PT. EDWARD, Ont. - It may take a few more months to get all Lambton County communities on board, but it’s safe to say if you stay near the Pt. Edward casino, you’ll be hit with a new tourist tax come Jan. 1, 2020.
Pt. Edward is the first municipality in Lambton to support the implementation of a 4 per cent local tax on accommodation at hotels and Air BNBs.
Tourism Sarnia-Lambton Executive Director Mark Perrin says his region is late to the game when it comes to the tax. With 40 other Ontario centres already implementing an accommodation tax, Perrin decided to push local councils to get onboard.
He tells CTV News the $1.2 million in projected revenue from the tax could go a long way toward improving the events Sarnia-Lambton attracts and help his team to step up marketing.
Although many hotel guests do not enjoy paying the added tax, it’s now common place, not only in southern Ontario, but also the U.S.
While Pt. Edward and Sarnia are borders towns, the fact Port Huron. Mich. has a five per cent tax already, made the decision easier for Pt. Edward’s mayor.
Bev Hand says her municipality, home to 50 per cent of Sarnia-Lambton hotels, was approached first. Other centres will be approached over the coming months, but Hand says having the tax in place for Jan. 1, will ensure added revenue for her community. And, later others could benefit.
For example, she says a new arena in Mooretown is one project the take from the tax could be used for.
The $1.2 million projected revenue would be split between Tourism Sarnia-Lambton and each municipality that comes onboard.
However, Pt. Edward would see the biggest gain. Even if all 11 Lambton communities sign on, it would receive about half of the municipal share of revenue, or about $300,000.
The remaining communities would receive the rest, based on percentage, depending on the amount of hotels and short-term accommodations they are home to.