FREDERICTON (GNB) – Proposed amendments to the province’s Local Governance Act would empower local governments to implement a tourism accommodation levy.

“As we committed to, our government wants to give local governments more control over decision-making,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Jeff Carr. “Providing local governments with the freedom to establish an accommodation levy to fund tourism marketing and development is just one of the ways we are empowering them, while also helping to grow their respective tourism sectors.”

Under the proposed amendments introduced today, local governments would be able to create bylaws to impose a tourism levy on guests of hotels and other accommodations providers.

“The eight cities of New Brunswick are very encouraged to hear that the provincial government is following through with its commitment to remove the barrier preventing cities from implementing a tourism accommodation levy,” said Cities of New Brunswick Association chair Adam Lordon, who is also mayor of Miramichi. “These amendments are a great start and a good example to allow our cities to generate needed revenue to develop our tourism products and increase promotion. This will allow us to be even more competitive to attract tourism dollars to our cities and our province.”

Wayne Sturgeon, president of the Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick, said his association has lobbied the government for an accommodation levy for years.

“Most other destinations in North America already have a levy, including Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Maine,” said Sturgeon. “An accommodation levy will give New Brunswick’s communities the ability to support tourism and local businesses without increasing taxes on our residents.”

Several stakeholders, including regional and provincial tourism groups, municipal associations and cities, expressed interest in implementing this type of levy to promote and develop local tourism.

More information is available online.