Skip to content

Tofino ready to submit MRDT spending plan to province

Municipal and Regional District tax plan to be submitted for approval

An agreement between Tofino’s municipal council and local resorts would guarantee that at least a portion of the town’s tourism revenue goes towards paying for a new sewage treatment facility, pending the provincial government’s approval.

Tofino expects to submit a new five-year Municipal and Regional District Tax financial plan to the province this week after hashing out a Memorandum of Understanding with local fixed roof accommodation providers.

The MRDT, formerly known as the additional hotel room tax, is a 3 per cent fee added to the bills accomodations charge their guests with the funds traditionally going to destination marketing organization Tourism Tofino.

Tofino’s current MRDT spending plan expires in May and, during Jan. 25’s regular council meeting, the district’s director of financial services Nyla Attiana explained that public consultation on a new five-year plan began last year, though it took some time for the two sides to agree on a compromise.

The province granted an extension to the plan while the district and resorts worked out an agreement that will see the district continue charging a 3 per cent MRDT with up to $400,000 of those funds, or 0.8 per cent, going towards annual payments of a proposed $65 million wastewater treatment facility beginning in 2023.

Resorts had initially lobbied against using MRDT funds to pay for sewage treatment with the West Coast Hospitality Association pitching a new 1 per cent sustainability fee that would be collected by local resorts and donated to the district.

The two sides have now agreed that the district will receive up to $400,000 of the annual MRDT funds to pay for the sewage treatment facility, but that money will be offset by any funds donated to the district through the 1 per cent sustainability fee.

“Essentially. the Municipal and Regional District Tax will be replaced by the voluntary contributions, if they are received,” Attiana said.

Coun. Al Anderson asked what would happen if the sustainability fee collects more than $400,000 and

Mayor Dan Law explained that the West Coast Hospitality Association has committed to putting any excess funds towards local initiatives, amenities or local charities.

Council unanimously approved submitting the application and the district expected to finalize the application on Jan. 31.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: District and resorts reach compromise on MRDT spending in Tofino

READ MORE: District of Tofino locks horns with resorts over MRDT spending

READ MORE: Tofino resorts pitch new tourist fee, oppose district’s plan to spend MRDT funds on sewage treatment

Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
Read more