Summerside gets approval for tourism levy increase

Ryan Ross
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Screen shot from Visit Summerside website

It could soon be a bit more expensive to rent a hotel room in Summerside after a recent change in legislation allowed the city to increase its tourism levy.

Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart said he expects the one per cent increase to raise an extra $30,000 to $40,000 to help promote the city.

"It certainly worked out well the last few years," he said.

Summerside has a two per cent tourism accommodation levy, but plans to increase it one percentage point, which would bring it line with what customers pay in Charlottetown.

A change in legislation was needed to allow for the increase, but instead of just changing the law to raise the levy by one point, the government chose to eliminate any maximum limit.

That change was made through the Municipal Statutes Amendment Act 2013, which removed the maximum limit for tourism levies set by councils under separate legislation for Charlottetown, Summerside and the province's other municipalities.

It allows municipalities to set their own levy rates without having to get a change in legislation every time.

Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan said the change was made at Summerside's request and the government decided to deal with the other areas at the same time.

"We'll update them just so there will be no ceiling on the levies. It will be up to municipalities themselves to make that decision from here on out," he said.

The change doesn't impact other areas outside of the municipalities where the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. (TIAPEI) is asking its members for input about the possibility of introducing a tourism levy.

In Summerside a committee that included representatives from the city's tourism association and hotel operators asked council for an increase, which Stewart said it has approved.

Stewart other municipalities have similar levies and the money will be used to promote the city, including some funding for Meetings and Conventions P.E.I.

"We're just sort of keeping in line with others," he said.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I., TIAPEI

Geographic location: Summerside, Charlottetown

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • NEED THOUGHT PATTERNS
    December 10, 2013 - 15:04

    One of the critieras for office in Summerside should be the ability to have a thought pattern It appears that the only thought pattern used by basil and the gang is if we run out of money just raise taxes again and again or expand city limits to get extra money from other areas. Stand in from of a mirror and keep repeating while looking at yourself I HAVE A BRAIN, I HAVE A BRAIN AND I WILL NOT KEEP CONTINUING TO MAKE SUCH FOOLISH MISTAKES OVER AND OVER. If that does not work then resign and let someone who knows how to use their brain get it a try.

  • Guy Cousineau
    December 10, 2013 - 09:16

    How is passing the cost on to tourists making things better? As others have said, why is making the accommodations operator look like the bad guy? If you want to raise money for advertising, do not do it at the expense of the tourist. How am I supposed to explain to my guest that he has to pay 3 percent more just because I want to use his money to get more people to come to PEI? Consider raising more money using a tax on all tourism related businesses. perhaps they will pass the cost along to the customer but is is more likely to be "invisible".

    • don
      December 10, 2013 - 14:43

      now that is an idea. again lets have ALL business charge the levy as they make money off of tourist. but i guess they need the extra profit to make them selves look rich. but again they want the extra 3% but when tourist stays away from s'side then what? and why would they stay s'side has not got a good rep. who is to blame for that? the mayor.

  • don
    December 10, 2013 - 08:49

    huh. let me try and spell it out for in pre school words. the restaurants makes money on tourist. and they get free ads on the backs of motel operators. and they make money year around but most motels are only open 4 months a year. but for example pizzas can make 100% profit. so why not make them pay a levy also. then you get tiapei wanting all of the there members charging a levy as one comment in here said they go other places as it is to high cost o come home. what does that tell you?

  • Just great
    December 10, 2013 - 08:12

    You are all idiots if you think making it more expensive to visit the island works better re tourists.

  • Dumb Ideas
    December 09, 2013 - 23:06

    Thanks for the heads up. I will make sure to warn my family and friends from other provinces and the United States. My husband and I are making more trips to other provinces and the USA to visit as it is too expensive for them to come here.

  • KEEP GOING
    December 09, 2013 - 21:19

    Congratulations, you have already chased away the younger generation with high taxes, you might as well chase the tourists away too. Never have I read in history of a more money hungry group since the middle ages. Beginning to understand the American Revoultion of Death before Taxes a lot better.

  • Mad as Hell
    December 09, 2013 - 21:10

    So - will the new fees be less than the gas to drive to Charlottetown? You want more people to come? LOWER the cost. Morons

  • confused
    December 09, 2013 - 20:05

    This is crazy. You really think by putting up the rates to stay in summerside is going to promote the city?? Come on think about what u are saying. People want to enjoy there stay on pei not empty there pockets. And keep up with charlottetown well if thats the case im sure they would rather drive a little further and pay the same rate and have more to enjoy. summerside has nothing to offer them to want to stay and pay the same as charlottetown think about it.

    • don
      December 09, 2013 - 23:21

      i can see a few small motels closing but maybe thats the idea? the bigger guys can afford it. but why does the city not levy the food locations they make a lot more profit then motels and most motels are open 4-6 months a years to make money. and resatauants and take out are open 12 months a year. or is it favoritism in the city council? time will tell when the city has less tourist staying in the city. and when they lose money is the city and tiapei willing to cover the money they have lost?

  • Great
    December 09, 2013 - 17:45

    Good Idea. PEI is not nearly expensive enough yet. Let's make up more new ways to tax people.

  • don
    December 09, 2013 - 17:01

    again the motels are getting hit then you wonder why people are not staying? why are you not hitting the restaurants like pizzas,subs, or is it to protect your friends in the city. or maybe it is being a coward. next year you will see less motel rooms rented and who will be to blame? the city cowards.

    • huh
      December 09, 2013 - 18:34

      that makes zero sense.

  • nitpicker
    December 09, 2013 - 16:54

    People are getting tired of "fees". Offer a great experience, at a reasonable price. That's the ticket to tourism.