New Brunswick, Canada, tourists could soon be paying a new 3% levy to stay in the province’s campgrounds, hotels and motels.
CBC News reported that the Department of Tourism says no final decision has been made on a new levy but industry officials say the proposal would create a tourism marketing fund. The levy has not been unveiled and it has already created a division in the tourism industry.
Campground owners say the levy is just an extra tax that will make their short season even tougher and drive campers south of the border.
Howard Heans, the owner of the Hardings Point Campground on the Kingston Peninsula, said the tax differential between New Brunswick and Maine already puts the province at a competitive disadvantage.
“Maine sales tax is 5% and you’re going to charge people in New Brunswick 16% tax on every camping stay 30 days or less,” he said. “So people here are going to have to pay an additional 3% on top of their tax” if the levy goes through.
The idea of a tourism marketing levy is not new. Saint John hotels can charge a 2% levy and Miramichi and Bathurst have fees as well.
Kathy Weir, president of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick, said her organization supports the idea of a levy. She said it needs to be the same rate across the province.
While some in the industry fear the levy could drive tourists away from New Brunswick, Weir said the industry association believes the levy would offer much-needed funds to help attract people to stay in the province.
“When we need to market and promote our province. This is an option, especially with so many government cutbacks,” Weir said.