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Penticton  

Airbnb tax levels field

The City of Penticton and its tourism agency is welcoming an agreement announced Wednesday between the provincial government and Airbnb that will see the business collect taxes.

In addition to eight per cent PST that is being earmarked for affordable housing, the company will collect the MRDT, or hotel tax, in municipalities like Penticton.

Penticton’s hotel tax is set at two per cent, money that the city uses to fund Travel Penticton.

“The hotels and motels that are already collecting the MRDT are now on a somewhat level playing field with that tax,” Travel Penticton executive director Thom Tischik said.

Tischik said they would be seeking more information from the province on the program, including questions around how Airbnb listings will be integrated into local systems.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit echoed Tischik, stating they are happy to see Airbnb level the playing field with hotels and motels on taxes.

“It shows that they are embracing the sharing economy,” he said.

The province says it will be pursuing similar agreements with other online booking sites.

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