MRDT increase approved

Guests at Sun Peaks accommodations will pay an additional one per cent tax. Photo SPIN Archives

As of Nov. 1, 2016 the Municipal Regional Development Tax (MRDT) in Sun Peaks was increased from 2 per cent to 3 per cent. It was the first increase in the tax since 2004. The tax is applied to short-term accommodation in addition to the provincial sales tax with the intention of funding local tourism marketing.

In total, the tax will generate approximately $425,000 this year, around $100,000 more than in previous years.

The funds, which go directly to Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP), are used to market the destination and events. Additional money collected from the increase is expected to improve advertising to grow visitation and increase MRDT revenue.

The optional increase to a maximum of three per cent MRDT was legislated by the B.C. government in September 2015.

The decision to apply to the province to increase the tax came after a change in another tax known as Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding, which is part of the provincial sales tax. The majority of RMI funding is now only to be used for infrastructure development, taking money away from advertising and events funds.

Increasing the tax was supported by the municipality and more than 50 per cent of
TSP members.

TSP president Arlene Schieven said the increase is important to expand the marketing budget as the RMI funds change drastically year to year.

“We are excited about the strong results we are seeing this winter and are already turning our attention to our summer marketing and events program,” she said.