Province nixes City’s Plan to Tax Vacation Rentals
. . . as commercial properties
The City of Victoria’s hopes of taxing short-term vacation rental (STVR) suites as commercial units rather than as residences have been dashed by the province.
“Selina Robinson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, has informed Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps that her request to have full-time and part-time STVR’s – and rooms individually rented out as STVR’s – re-assessed and taxed at significantly higher rates would itself be a “very costly” pursuit for BC Assessment and too onerous from a management and oversight perspective, according to a letter penned by Robinson on February 12th.”
“Implementing such a proposal would be very costly, and it would be time consuming for BC Assessment (BCA) to identify the units to which this policy would apply,” Robinson wrote.
If the province sided with the City on its latest proposal and the 2017 idea to tax vacation rental residences as commercial properties, the move would have required BC Assessment to apply a split residential property classification should a room in a home be being used as a vacation rental, and track full-time residences used as STVR’s to classify them as commercial properties.
The vacation rental industry grew over the last several years just as the Capital Region began shedding significant volumes of hotel room inventory. Numerous motels along Douglas Street and Gorge Road have been converted to rental apartments over the last decade-plus, while two downtown Victoria hotels (the Queen Victoria Inn and the Dominion Hotel) were stripped of their transient status and refurbished into residences.