The Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) was introduced in 1987, by the Provincial Government, to provide funding for local tourism marketing, programs, and projects. The tax is intended to help grow BC revenues, visitation, and jobs, and amplify BC’s tourism marketing efforts in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Here in Merritt the MRDT was used by hotels until 2012. The tax was placed on the bills of tourists visiting Merritt in the form of a line item of their hotel bills at checkout. The tax can be from one to three per cent and the funds are then put back into the community in the form of tourism initiatives.
Since 2012 some hotels in the City have been imposing a voluntary levy to people's stays as a way of continuing to gain funds for tourism in the Nicola Valley. The levy, however, may be refused by the customer.
“I’m really pleased that we are exploring what to do, that we are seriously looking at it,” said Coun. Kurt Christopherson. “I think it’s high time that we examined options.”
The motion to have staff work towards an agreement with the Merritt and Nicola Valley Destination Marketing Society was passed by a unanimous vote.
It should be noted, Coun. Melvina White declared a conflict of interest and did not take part in the vote.
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