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Municipal Accommodation Tax Collects over $300,000 to Date

Huntsville, ON (September 26, 2019) Collection of the newly implemented Municipal Accommodation Tax started in April of this year and the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association Board of Directors are preparing to partner with other organizations who can drive occupancy growth in Huntsville.

“Although the work of our board is primarily focused on completing a longer-term Tourism Plan in conjunction with Huntsville’s Economic Development office, we also recognize the importance of putting some of what has been collected into the market and testing how the efforts of other organizations with a stake in growing tourism can drive occupancies with a little help from these tax dollars”, says Jesse Hamilton, Chair of the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association and General Manager of Deerhurst Resort. “We will be releasing a Partnership Program in the coming weeks to explore how we can assist in funding new and existing programs and activities that align with the mission of our board. More information on the application process and the total amount of funding will be released soon.”

The Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) is a newly formed, non-share capital corporation, which receives seventy percent of the Municipal Accommodation Tax that is collected. HMATA is responsible for determining how to best utilize these funds to grow visitors and occupancies in the Town of Huntsville. The remaining thirty percent of the Municipal Accommodation Tax is retained by the Corporation of the Town of Huntsville. The HMATA board consists of the following voting members; Jesse Hamilton (Chair and General Manager of Deerhurst Resort), Scott Doughty (Vice Chair and Manager of Hidden Valley Resort), Christine Kropp (Secretary/Treasurer, Owner of Whimsical Bakery and BIA representative), Nancy Alcock (Town of Huntsville), Matthew Phillips (Holiday Inn Express & Suites Huntsville), Kaushal Gandhi (Rainbow Inn Motel) and Jeff Suddaby (3 Guys and a Stove and Chamber of Commerce representative).

“We have a talented and engaged board of directors, and I’m confident that we will find ways, including teaming up with those who are already doing great work in Huntsville, to increase year round occupancy, and have significant economic impact for Huntsville,” explains Hamilton, Chair of HMATA, “We are making it our mission to ‘To grow year-round occupancy in Huntsville’ and we will do so by honouring the values of ‘Being collaborative, being creative, being progressive, being inclusive and respecting our natural environment’.”

The Municipal Accommodation Tax is a 3-year pilot project. The tax is currently charged on short-term accommodations in the municipality. Accommodation providers such as hotels, motels, inns and bed and breakfast establishments are required to charge the fee and remit to the Town of Huntsville through the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association. Currently, private cottage rentals are not applying the tax, but the Town of Huntsville is preparing to permit and collect from private cottage rental businesses such as Airbnb, VRBO and local businesses such as CottageVacations.com and Ontario Cottage Rentals Inc.

Background:

On November 23, 2017, the Province of Ontario issued the Transient Accommodation Regulation 435/17, which came into effect December 1, 2017 and provides the necessary provisions for municipalities across Ontario to implement a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT).

On October 29th, 2018, Huntsville Town Council passed By-Law 2018-131, approving the implementation of a four percent (4%) mandatory MAT applicable on all short-term accommodations under 30 days.

The MAT came into effect on April 1st, 2019, and has been collected from all accommodation sold for a continuous period of less than 30 days in a hotel, motel, lodge, inn, and bed and breakfast.

Use of Revenue Generated Through the Program:

The tax will generate funding to promote and develop tourism within Huntsville. 70% of the net revenues are directed by a newly established Non-Share Capital Corporation; the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association ‘HMATA’, who’s primary focus is to build occupancy in Huntsville. This organization will direct funds towards tourism promotion and development with a focus on attracting more visitors to Huntsville during the shoulder seasons.

The remaining 30% of the net revenues will be retained by the Town of Huntsville, earmarked for projects and initiatives that promote and support tourism and economic development efforts that benefit residents and visitors.

For more information about the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association e-mail info@huntsvillemat.com, or call 705-788-5847.

Media Inquiries:

Jesse Hamilton, Chair of the Board

jhamilton@deerhurstresort.com 705.789.7113 x 4450

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