Cornwall bed tax delivers $82,000 in first three months: CFO

In this June 2018, file photo, a lighted sign greets travellers at the Monte Carlo Motel on Montreal Road in Cornwall, Ont. The city's chief financial officer says a new four per cent bed tax has already brought in over $82,000 in its first three months on the books. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – In less than three months, Cornwall’s new bed tax to support tourism has already brought in over $82,000.

That eyebrow-raising figure was shared by CFO Tracey Bailey at Monday night’s council meeting as city council agreed to set up a arms-length corporation to handle some of those dollars.

Bailey said that figure could be more because hotels and motels collecting the four per cent municipal accommodation tax can decide when and how often to remit the tax to the city – either quarterly or monthly.

When the tax started on June 1, it netted $52,000 in the first month, she said.

The tax, approved by the provincial government in 2017, has become commonplace in many cities and towns across Eastern Ontario.

As part of provincial rules, Cornwall has to set up a non-profit entity with a board of directors to handle half of the collected tax in a Tourism Development Fund (TDF). The other half goes to Cornwall Tourism for marketing and visitor information services.

The city estimates the bed tax will bring in around $600,000 a year.