Montague expands tax reduction zone to include hotel

Published on August 20, 2014

Owner Robert Jay enjoys the vista of the marina and waterfront in Montague from the balcony of his new Riverhouse Inn expected to open soon in the heart of Montague.

©Guardian photo by Steve Sharratt

MONTAGUE — The tax reduction zone in eastern P.E.I.’s largest town has been expanded to assist the owner of a new hotel.

Businessman Robert Jay sought to have his new Riverhouse Inn hotel included in the tax reduction zone that was designed by the town to encourage business to the downtown area.

At the time, there were numerous business vacancies along the Main Street and the tax reduction effort was focused on attracting new operators.

“However, the construction of a new hotel is an important addition to this town and I think we should really consider this,” said CAO Andy Daggett. “It’s a tax reduction on a sliding scale for a five-year period.”

Town councillors here agreed the multimillion-dollar hotel that opened earlier this year was a major project and certainly represented a new business endeavour.

“It’s probably the most important new building we’ve seen constructed here in some time,’’ said Coun. Jim Bagnall.

The hosting of major events, both in sports and commerce, has been lost over the years because of the lack of a facility in the town with enough overnight rooms or conference space.

The Riverhouse Inn is a 30-room building with a 100-seat multi-media room and offers convention-like facilities. However, it is built along the Montague River and outside the current tax reduction zone.

“I think this hotel has become a major anchor for this town and should be included in our incentive system,’’ said Deputy Mayor David Mabon.

The town reimburses 100 per cent (based on the increase in municipal assessment) during the first year and follows a pattern of 90, 75, 50 and 25 per cent for the next five years.

Before approving the inclusion of the hotel, council was told the reimbursement from the town would tally around $10,000 this year.