The Government of Alberta, City of Calgary, and City of Edmonton are working to develop new city charters. If municipal taxation authority is considered, it is critical that hoteliers’ voices are a part of the conversation. As we have seen in the past with proposed Tourism and Amusement taxes and with the recently rescinded Fox Creek bylaw, it is no secret that municipalities would like the authority to implement tourism and hotel taxes.

Information sessions are being hosted in both cities to gather feedback on the proposed changes. We strongly urge you to attend and have a few of these key points ready if the conversation turns toward taxation powers for municipalities:

  • Taxes of this nature would impact the competitiveness of Alberta’s tourism and hospitality industry relative to other destinations.
  • The financial benefit of a tourism or amusement tax to municipalities would be completely negated by the corresponding reduction in tourism and travel due to the cost of the tax.
  • 85% of travellers in Alberta are Albertan. If a city had taxation powers that they imposed on hotels, they would essentially be taxing Albertans.
  • Destination Marketing Organizations, which invest in tourism and are funded by voluntary destination marketing fees, would be negatively impacted as hotels may discontinue collecting the fee.
  • Alberta hotels currently contribute significant amounts to government revenues. In 2014, Alberta hotels generated more than $1 billion in direct and indirect government revenues – more than $255 million of that in property taxes alone.
  • Stable municipal funding is important, but should be supported from the provincial level. Creating a patchwork of individual taxation policies and collection mechanisms will be inefficient and ineffective.

The following information sessions are open for you to attend:

Edmonton City Charter:
Monday, Oct. 3 and Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016
5:30-8:30 p.m.
University of Alberta main campus
Lister Centre, Maple Leaf Room
11613 87 Avenue

Calgary City Charter
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016
5:30-8:30 p.m.
Calgary Elks Lodge and Golf Club, Dining Room
2502 6 St. NE

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016
5:30-8:30 p.m.
Carriage House Inn, Windsor Ballroom
9030 Macleod Trail S

Please let us know if you plan to attend one of these sessions, as well as any recommendations that may come out of the discussions.