Cornwall hotel bed tax on the table for 2016: Hart

SD&G Coun. Tammy Hart looks over her notes during a county council meeting June 15, 2015. Hart says a once-shelved three per cent hotel bed tax to support tourism will be coming back in January 2016 in Cornwall. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A county councillor says a shelved hotel tax will be coming back in 2016 to help bring in marketing dollars for tourism.

The Destination Marketing Fee (DMF) – a three per cent tax collected by participating hotels in Cornwall, started in January 2008.

The charge would add anywhere from $2.50 to $4 to a an average room rental.

The DMF reportedly raised $210,000 in Cornwall in 2009 – 40 per cent of it went to the former Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism (now Cornwall and the Counties Tourism) while the remainder stayed with the hotels for city promotional activities.

At the time, the participating hotels were the Best Western, Ramada Inn, Comfort Inn and the now-closed Days Inn.

The fee was shelved at some point after the HST came into effect in July 2010.

County Coun. Tammy Hart, who sits on the tourism committee, told council Monday morning the hotels will start charging the fee in January 2016.

But, Hart may be a little optimistic.

The Destination Marketing Fee (DMF) has been the subject of a Canada-wide class action lawsuit as of December 5, 2014.

Local industry insiders indicate there may be no moment on instituting the fee until that suit plays out in court.

Some of the Cornwall hotel brands are named in the DMF suit, which is seeking compensation for those that have been charged the fee.

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