Hoteliers in Dauphin brought their concerns about the City’s proposed accommodation tax to City Council on Monday night.
Dean Cooley served as the spokesman for the group, and he said that where the funds from the proposed 5% tax on hotel stays would go, is unfair to the hoteliers.
“It’s not the tax itself that scares us too much, it’s really the use of the money,” said Cooley. “We feel fairly strongly that capital cost expenditure for the city, we don’t believe that’s the right use for the money.”
As it stands right now, the funds would be directed to help fund maintenance and improvements to the City’s recreation areas.
The group would rather see the money go towards helping the city in other ways.
“We would rather see that money put into tourism, and economic development, and things that would drive our city forward, bring more people to town,” said Cooley. “We would like to see more events; it was wonderful to have Hometown Hockey in Dauphin that was fantastic. We’re excited to have the junior curling early in the New Year, but there are not enough of those events that make an impact on the hotel industry.”
Cooley said that while events like Dauphin’s Countryfest and Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival result in fully booked hotels, they only account for 6 days out of 365.
The hoteliers are disappointed that the City didn’t consult them before proposing the accommodation tax, and are hoping to have further discussions with the City in the weeks to come.