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Airbnb to begin collecting PST

Last Updated Feb 7, 2018 at 12:53 pm PST

(iStock Photo)

Airbnb to collect 8% provincial sales tax, up to 3% in municipal and regional district tax for short-term rentals in BC

Finance minister admits PST collected via Airbnb will go to general revenues, promises to dedicate to affordable housing

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) –  BC’s NDP government has found a new source of revenue in the hospitality industry.

Finance Minister Carole James says short-term rental giant Airbnb will soon start collecting provincial sales tax.

“This agreement — the first arrangement of its kind — is good for BC’s municipalities, who will receive the municipal regional district tax revenue. It’s good for people who will see more money flowing in for affordable housing. And this arrangement is certainly good for BC’s hospitality industry because it ensures tax fairness in that sector.”

Airbnb will collect 8% provincial sales tax and up to 3% in municipal and regional district tax for all short-term rentals it facilitates in BC. The 8% PST rate is in line with the provincial tax rate for hotels and resorts in BC.

“Every penny makes a difference. It’s critical to make sure that we’re putting money in… This really is about fair taxation — making sure we have a level playing field. We know the sharing economy is here. This provides us an opportunity to make sure that there’s a fair system in place for everyone,” says James.

James admits money collected by more than 18,000 Airbnb providers will go into general revenues, but she’s promising to dedicate some to building more affordable housing. She says more details are coming in the budget later this month.