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The implementation of a Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) allows municipalities across Ontario to apply a mandatory rate on accommodations. On March 4, 2018, council endorsed the implementation of a four percent MAT in principle, subject to staff reporting back with more details on its implementation.

The MAT is to be paid by visitors staying in Kingston hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts for 30 days or less. The MAT is not a tax on local businesses. The tax is applied to the accommodation fee only and not to other fees such as valet parking, laundry service, continental breakfast, etc.

As outlined in the March 4, 2018 Report to Council (Report Number 18-081), the funds collected would be reinvested in tourism promotion and tourism products. This tax will help the City grow its investment in tourism without increasing taxes for local residents.

Accommodation Providers and Guests

Have questions? View the following frequently asked questions for answers.

Accommodation Providers

How much is the Municipal Accommodation Tax?

The Municipal Accommodation Tax rate will be four per cent and must be applied to accommodations provided for a continuous period of 30 days or less. The tax is applied only to the accommodation fee and should not be applied to other fees such as valet parking, laundry service, continental breakfast etc.

Is this a mandatory or voluntary tax?

The Municipal Accommodation Tax is a mandatory tax and must be paid to the accommodation operator at the same time that customers pay for the booking.

Under what authority does the accommodation provider have to charge/collect the Municipal Accommodation Tax?

Once implemented, a City of Kingston bylaw will impose the Municipal Accommodation Tax on the purchase of accommodations.

Are any guests exempt from the Municipal Accommodation Tax?

The four per cent tax will not apply to accommodations that are:

  • Rented for a period of more than 30 days
  • Provided as shelter
  • Supplied by employers to their employees in premises operated by the employer

Are any hotels charges exempt from the Municipal Accommodation Tax?

The following charges are exempt from the tax:

  • Hospitality rooms in an establishment that may or may not contain a bed and is used for displaying merchandise, holding meetings, or entertaining and not being used for accommodation
  • Fees such as valet parking, laundry service, continental breakfast, etc.

Does the Municipal Accommodation Tax get applied to the rental of a hotel's boardroom or banquet room?

No. The tax is only applied to a room that is being used for accommodation. However, the tax is exempt when a room that may or may not contain a bed is being used for displaying merchandise, holding meetings, or entertaining and not being used for accommodation.

Guests

What is the amount of the Municipal Accommodation Tax?

The Municipal Accommodation Tax rate will be four per cent and must be applied to accommodations provided for a continuous period of 30 days or less.

When will this tax be in effect?

August 1, 2018. This MAT is a result of changes in provincial policies in January 2018 which sees a growing number of cities in Ontario such as Ottawa, Toronto, London and Niagara Falls who have or are in the process of implementing MAT.

How is it applied to the cost of renting a hotel room?

The four per cent is applied only to the cost of the accommodation fee of a continuous period of 30 days or less and should not be applied to other fees such as valet parking, laundry service, continental breakfast etc.

Why do I have to pay this tax?

The Municipal Accommodation Tax is a mandatory tax imposed by the City on the purchase of accommodations. This tax levy supports reinvestments in tourism.

Can I refuse to pay this tax? Is this a mandatory or voluntary tax?

No, you cannot refuse to pay this tax. The Municipal Accommodation Tax is mandatory and must be paid to the accommodation operator at the same time that you pay for the booking.

What happens with the funds generated through the Municipal Accommodation Tax? 

Funds generated through the Municipal Accommodation Tax will be invested in destination marketing, sales, and product development in Kingston. Kingston Accommodation Partners and Tourism Kingston promote Kingston for leisure visitors, meetings and conventions, major events, media relations, tour operators, sport, film and travel trade as well as long-term destination development initiatives aimed at enhancing the visitor experience.

Background

In 2004, in the absence of a provincial framework, Kingston Accommodation Partners (KAP) introduced a Destination Marketing Fund (DMF) which was a voluntary three per cent hotel fee which has been leveraging funds to promote tourism in Kingston. The three per cent hotel fee is applied to each hotel night rented and paid by the visitor, not the business. As of the end of 2017, a total of 24 hotels in Kingston had partnered with KAP to levy the voluntary three per cent hotel fee. The funds collected have been primarily used for tourism promotion, tourism product development as well as sales and marketing efforts.