B&B operators to weigh-in on levy discussion

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Gerry Gill, owner/operator of Warn House Bed and Breakfast in Summerside, will be at tonight’s meeting to take part in discussions on the impact a proposed three per cent, provincewide levy would have on the industry. The meeting takes place at the Winsloe Lions Hall beginning at 7 p.m. Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer.

SUMMERSIDE – The Bed and Breakfast and Country Inns Association will discuss tonight the impact of a proposed three per cent accommodations levy on their businesses.

The 7 p.m. meeting at the Winsloe Lions hall will feature a presentation on the levy from Chris Jones of Tourism P.E.I. and Don Cudmore, executive director of Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. and an open discussion of the levy and its effects on smaller accommodations.

Association president Jane Dunphy said there are too many unanswered questions and too many rumours circulating.

“How will the levy decision be made?” she asked.

“By whom? Who will benefit from it? How would the levy be collected? Distributed? Why are not the numerous other tourism-based operators also being asked to collect the proposed levy? And why only accommodations?” are just some of her questions.

Another is why is it being proposed for the same time as the introduction of the HST?

“We still don't know what the impact will be of the HST. Wouldn't this just be a big way to really put potential tourists off P.E.I.?”

Association secretary Patrick Higgins said bed and breakfast operations weren’t addressed in the initial discussions.

“They never answered any questions about how it was going to be done and when and where,” he said. “They never made any mention to one of the biggest accommodation providers and that’s bed and breakfasts. They mentioned hotels and motels and campgrounds and we just want some answers as to how it’s going to affect our small businesses.”

Cudmore said TIAPEI is looking for input into the proposed levy.

“A few months back the executive of TIAPEI realized that our marketing- product development budget from government and from industry continued to decline and it didn’t looked like we were going to be growing our budget for those very important items,” Cudmore said.

“We wrote the province and asked them if they would do some research as to what a provincial levy would do. How much would it raise? Who would be included? What the percentage would be and how it would be distributed?”

Cudmore said TIAPEI made it clear at that time it was supporting the potential levy.

“We just wanted to find out what the issues would be with one and what we would receive,” he said. “When we got that we took a look at it and brought our tourism associations in and asked them to take a look at what was being presented. They made some fairly substantial adjustments especially to the amount that would be raised and how it would be spent.”

The idea was then presented to all regional tourism associations and some other groups.

“We also want to make them aware of the fact that there are certainly decreasing funds for marketing and product development. It’s basically the opposite of what’s happening in other provinces where they’re adding to it,” said Cudmore.

He added tonight’s meeting will hopefully answer many of the questions surrounding the levy.

“We will likely have answers for some of them but maybe not all of them,” he said. “It’s been a process now where we’re looking for that kind of feedback. Once all the meetings are done we would request feedback from every meeting that we did with their position and we would go from there. We’ve been assured by the province, as well as my board, that if there’s significant resistance to it then it would just die.”

Some organizations are more sensitive to it, he said.

“With the B and B Association it would be more widespread and impact them. With campgrounds, it would impact them more as well because neither one of them with 10 rooms or under pay a levy.”

mcarson@journalpioneer.com

 

 

 

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Recent comments

  • Another Step Backwards
    November 28, 2012 - 13:18

    Putting a screen door on a submarine would make more sense. Here we are heading into a second recession and the logic is to add more tax to people wanting to visit PEI. You cannot blame TIAPEI management for trying to get this scam passed because they are funded by government and no doubt their funding will be cut, so this will insure they wont have to cut back on their cushy jobs. But, in the real world, when an organization cannot produce results with all the funding they have been recieving the answer is not more funding. TIAPEI is just another arm of the government. They are funded by the government with a mandate to push through anything that the government feels it needs to. Any tourism operator on PEI that agrees to this tax should have a check-up from the neck up. Until the day that TIAPEI is disbanded and the real tourism operators form an association funded by the tourism operators only, there will be these kind of government initiated hair-brained ideas that will continue killing the industry. If anyone was really interested in increasing tourism on PEI they should be decreasing taxes on accommodations to attract more visitors. More visitors equals more purchases which equals more taxes collected. It is too bad that we don't have anyone within government that is intelligent enough to see this.

  • Time for Heads to Roll
    November 28, 2012 - 12:47

    It takes 60 clicks to make a clue. Don Cudmore and Chris Jones don't have one click between them when it comes to the needs of small tourism operations on PEI. They have been catering to the needs of the large tourism operators here on PEI for so long that they have forgotten the real reason why people vacation here. If they think tourism numbers are bad now, wait until they force all the small operations out of business, then the tourists will have absolutely no reason to visit PEI. Over the years TIAPEI has come up with some hair-brained ideas but this one wins the trophy. Yes, in an economy that is bordering on recession for the second time in five years, now is the time to hit our travelling guests with some more taxes. What a complete bunch of boneheads we have in charge of tourism here. Any tourism operator on PEI that supports this new tax should be loaded onto a boat with Cudmore and Jones and be given free one-way passage to any other country of their choice.

  • don
    November 27, 2012 - 20:24

    it is called money grab and COWARDS.

  • Tourister
    November 27, 2012 - 11:55

    Cudmore: “We also want to make them aware of the fact that there are certainly decreasing funds for marketing and product development. It’s basically the opposite of what’s happening in other provinces where they’re adding to it,” So instead of boosting our product, better service we are supposed to be so good at, gentle island and all that, ah, what can we do here lets see..Oh I know, make the visitors pay for it! we'll just surround the announcement with a lot of gobbledygook, and when operators ask questions well, just say there are too many questions to answer and we are aware of their concerns blah balh, going forward what's best for Islanders blah blah. I'll be TAIPEI would agree PEI is a top notch tourist destination in North America, heard this for years. Now I Hear we can't keep up, that is, without bilking our visitors.

  • Taxpayer
    November 27, 2012 - 08:58

    Cut the crap, this Liberal Government and Tourism are in this mess togeather, tell them to stick the 3% and stick togeather, as long as the Wes Sheridan keeps telling lies things will never be right. He sanctioned a business opinion from a Calgary expert on hoe HST work work for business but ran and hid when the NDP wanted an opinion done for us Lslanders who will pay big time. I was just out to B.C and Ontario, they will both tell you the Islanders are in for a big surprise, thats why they got rid of it. Can't believe a word this Liberal Government says. Disgraceful.

  • don
    November 27, 2012 - 00:26

    well i can see the government making more money but less tourist. due to money grabing liberals. lets see hst + levy that would be in the area of what 18% on top of the cost of a room? but i want to know why is it only people in the accommodations that are getting screwed? why do they not charge it to ALL business that make money on tourist? simple to many big shots that wants profits and if they have to charge the levy they lose money. so tiapei wants money then be fair charge all business.

  • John W.A.Curtis
    November 26, 2012 - 20:06

    Islanders want tourism then businesses pay for events held on P.E.I. not the taxpayers or charge the room tax.