Submitted by the Municipal Accommodation Tax Association board of directors
Collection of the newly implemented Municipal Accommodation Tax started in April of this year and the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association board of directors are preparing to partner with other organizations who can drive occupancy growth in Huntsville.
“Although the work of our board is primarily focused on completing a longer-term Tourism Plan in conjunction with Huntsville’s Economic Development office, we also recognize the importance of putting some of what has been collected into the market and testing how the efforts of other organizations with a stake in growing tourism can drive occupancies with a little help from these tax dollars,” says Jesse Hamilton, chair of the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association and general manager of Deerhurst Resort. “We will be releasing a Partnership Program in the coming weeks to explore how we can assist in funding new and existing programs and activities that align with the mission of our board. More information on the application process and the total amount of funding will be released soon.”
The Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) is a newly formed, non-share capital corporation, which receives seventy percent of the Municipal Accommodation Tax that is collected. HMATA is responsible for determining how to best utilize these funds to grow visitors and occupancies in the Town of Huntsville.
The remaining thirty percent of the Municipal Accommodation Tax is retained by the Corporation of the Town of Huntsville.
The HMATA board consists of the following voting members: Jesse Hamilton (chair and general manager of Deerhurst Resort), Scott Doughty (vice chair and manager of Hidden Valley Resort), Christine Kropp (secretary/treasurer, owner of Whimsical Bakery and BIA representative), Nancy Alcock (councillor, Town of Huntsville), Matthew Phillips (Holiday Inn Express & Suites Huntsville), Kaushal Gandhi (Rainbow Inn Motel) and Jeff Suddaby (3 Guys and a Stove and Chamber of Commerce representative).
“We have a talented and engaged board of directors, and I’m confident that we will find ways, including teaming up with those who are already doing great work in Huntsville, to increase year-round occupancy, and have significant economic impact for Huntsville,” explains Hamilton. “We are making it our mission ‘To grow year-round occupancy in Huntsville’ and we will do so by honouring the values of ‘Being collaborative, being creative, being progressive, being inclusive and respecting our natural environment’.”
The Municipal Accommodation Tax is a three-year pilot project. The tax is currently charged on short-term accommodations in the municipality. Accommodation providers such as hotels, motels, inns and bed and breakfast establishments are required to charge the fee and remit to the Town of Huntsville through the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association. Currently, private cottage rentals are not applying the tax, but the Town of Huntsville is preparing to permit and collect from private cottage rental businesses such as Airbnb, VRBO and local businesses such as CottageVacations.com and Ontario Cottage Rentals Inc.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!