Kamloops hoteliers to vote on higher tax

An increase in the city’s hotel tax is needed to compete with other markets and their increasing budgets, said the president of the Kamloops Accommodation Association.

Hoteliers will vote this summer whether to renew an agreement to charge guests a hotel tax that goes to Tourism Kamloops to market the region.

The current tax is two per cent. The association is encouraging its members to vote to increase the levy to three per cent on guests.

“The question is fairly simple,” said Joey Beltrano, president of the accommodation association. “Do you want to move to three per cent or remain at two per cent? With rising costs of marketing, that one per cent is added value.”

Victoria and Vernon recently voted to increase the levy to three per cent, Beltrano noted.

Other markets are poised to move the tax higher.

“We’re competing with markets that have fairly robust budgets,” Beltrano said. “Anything will help.”

Fifty-two properties in Kamloops are eligible to cast a ballot. In order for the measure to pass, a majority of properties representing a majority of rooms in the city must vote in favour.

Results of the measure are expected by the end of summer.

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