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City’s Room Tax Gets Nod From Province

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The City of Dauphin’s accommodation tax is ready to be implemented, it is just a matter of when.

At its regular meeting May 10, council was informed the provincial treasury board approved the city’s bylaw creating the tax at the end of April.

“It is my pleasure to inform you and your Council that the Government of Manitoba has approved your request. The City of Dauphin’s Accommodation Tax can come into effect in the first month after the lifting of the provincial state of emergency currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” read a letter from Finance Minister Scott Fielding to Mayor Allen Dowhan.

“That was, I guess, the last approval that we needed, through the treasury board,” city manager Sharla Griffiths said, adding City administration is confused as to why the city has to wait for the state of emergency to be lifted before implementing the tax. “The City of Dauphin has been frustrated and we have asked why are we waiting? Has the province made other communities stop collecting? From my understanding no.”

The five per cent per room per night tax is expected to raise in the neighbourhood of $200,000 annually. Income from the tax will be split between two important areas, Griffiths said, with 30 per cent going towards economic development and tourism and 70 per cent earmarked for recreation and active living.
The city had hoped the tax would be in place by Jan. 1, 2020, but is now waiting for a implementation date that makes sense.

“We did word the resolution that the tax would come into effect the month after the state of emergency is lifted, or a logical time,” Griffiths said “We’d hate for it to start like December 1, or some strange time. If there’s a milestone like a quarter mark in the year or a Jan.uary 1, or something like that. we want to start it logically, as well.”