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Q. Why did the City of Brandon implement an Accommodation Tax?
A. The question of whether the City of Brandon should pursue an Accommodation Tax has come before City Council in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011. In most of those instances, the underlying question has been how the City could raise additional funds to better support tourism initiatives and/or to be able to draw more events to the City.
Q. What process was used to develop the City of Brandon’s Accommodation Tax?
A. In May of 2011, the “Accommodation Tax Task Force” was established to investigate the feasibility of implementing an Accommodation Tax in Brandon. Chair of the Committee was Councillor Shawn Berry (Linden Lanes), while committee members consisted of representatives from City Council, the City of Brandon administration, Economic Development Brandon, Brandon Riverbank Inc., Brandon First, the Chamber of Commerce, as well as various representatives from the local Hotel Community.
The Task Force conducted its own research in addition to engaging the services of an outside researcher. The task force looked into the use and collection of Accommodation Taxes in other cities, as well as the benefits and drawbacks that came with incorporating such taxes in those communities.
The Task Force spent considerable time determining how the proceeds of such a tax should be used to benefit the community, as well as deciding on what is “the right level” of Accommodation Tax (compared to other centers) which best mitigates any unwanted consequences.
Finally, the Task Force worked with Finance and Economic Development to develop a process for the administration and delivery of Accommodation Tax funds to the various user groups that will be applying for funding.
Q. What was the outcome from the Accommodation Task Force?
A. On March 5, 2012, Brandon City Council passed By-law No. 7014 (931 KB), the “Accommodation Tax By-law”. Authority for this By-law comes from the Municipal Revenue (Grants and Taxation) Act, R.S.M. 1987. The Lieutenant Governor in Council (Province of Manitoba) approved this by-law which came into force on July 1, 2012 and is subject to an annual review by City Council.
The By-law sets forth the requirements for the application, collection and remittance of a $3.00 per room flat rate fee on accommodations within the City of Brandon.
The purpose of the accommodation tax is to generate revenue to support event acquisition, event retention, and/or capital repairs and upgrade initiatives in support of event acquisition and event retention within the City of Brandon.
Q. How much do visitors to Brandon pay for the Accommodation Tax?
A. The Accommodation Tax is a flat fee of $3.00 per night per room. A flat fee was chosen over a percentage amount so that the amount is easily known and easy to calculate for all guests regardless of the price paid for accommodation. Note that GST is applicable to any Accommodation Taxes paid, while PST is not.
Q. What is the responsibility of accommodation providers to collect the tax?
A. Effective July 1, 2012, the Accommodation Tax shall be collected on behalf of guests by all providers of accommodations (Hotels, Motels, Inns, Resorts, etc. as defined by the By-law). Collections of Accommodation Taxes shall be remitted to the City of Brandon four times per year following the end of each fiscal quarter. The requirement to remit Accommodation Taxes and the quarterly Accommodation Tax return must be met no later than the 20th day of the month following the end of the quarter in which the Accommodation Taxes were payable and for which the quarterly tax return is applicable.
Q. Who is exempt from paying the Accommodation Tax?
A. The accommodation tax will not apply to the following situations:
Q. How does a guest apply for an exemption refund?
A. Guests have one year in which to apply for an exemption refund. Guests can fill in the following form and print it (or print a blank form and fill it in) and apply in person or by mail to the Finance office in City Hall. The refund form is available here: Refund Form (305 KB) .
Q. If I know someone is exempt from the Accommodation Tax as per the bylaw can I as the operator simply not charge the Accommodation Tax to the guest?
A. In certain situations, yes. By definition the operator will know that an exemption applies due to one or more of the following conditions:
In those cases, simply exempt the guest from the accommodation tax and if possible, list the reason why on the invoice. However, in other situations, the operator will not know whether or not an exemption applies, for example:
In those instances, the burden of proof is on the guest to prove that a bona-fide exemption exists. The operator is to charge the Accommodation Tax and the onus then falls on the guest to submit a request for refund of Accommodation Taxes paid to the tax collector, i.e. the City of Brandon.
Q. Does Accommodation Tax apply to rooms that are provided at no cost by the hotel/motel?
A. No, it does not. In this case do not apply the Accommodation Tax to the guest’s invoice.
Q. Does the Accommodation Tax have to appear as a separate charge on a guest’s invoice?
A. Yes it does. The By-law states that “the amount of the Accommodation Tax shall be shown as an Accommodation Tax (by the City of Brandon), and must be shown as a separate item or charge on a bill, receipt, invoice, or similar document issued by the operator in respect of accommodation on which the tax is imposed”.
Q. How does my establishment remit the Accommodation Tax?
A. A form is available on the City of Brandon website whereby the quarterly remittance information can be entered and printed. This form is available here: Remittance Form (604 KB)
Q. What do I do if I notice an error in the amount of Accommodation Tax that my establishment paid to the City of Brandon?
A. In that case, simply make an adjustment on your next quarter’s remittance. List the reason(s) for the adjustment, provide backup documentation and include the adjustment as part of your remittance. If you need any clarification or assistance, please be sure to contact the Finance Department of City Hall; Phone 204-729-2592.
Q. Will the City of Brandon keep confidential any information that is submitted as part of the remittance process, e.g., room sales, etc.?
A. Yes. This information will only be used by the Finance Department as part of the remittance process. This information will not be shared with other City Departments, nor will it be shared, sold, or otherwise be made available to any other organization.
Q. How will owners of establishments be assured that the Accommodation Taxes collected are only used for event acquisition, event retention, and/or permitted capital enhancements?
A. As per the Municipal Act, reserve funds can only be used for the purposes as set out in the provisions of that reserve. In other words, any funds in these reserves can only be utilized for the purposed intended.
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