COVID-19 property tax rebates for hotel operators

Nova Scotia’s hotel, motel and inn operators are getting assistance with property tax bills to help with COVID-19 recovery.

The Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program will provide qualified operators a 25 per cent rebate on payment of 2020-21 commercial property tax. The program opens Nov. 16.

“We know that hotels, motels and inns have immediate cash flow needs because of the decline in visitors due to COVID-19,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business. “They are facing commercial tax bills assessed on the previous year’s revenues with a significantly reduced ability to pay. This is another in our range of response programs designed to fill gaps in federal programing.”

To be eligible, a business must meet the definition of a roofed accommodation as set out in the Tourist Accommodation Registration Act, be registered as a host under the act, have more than five rooms and have paid their tax bill in full. 

Qualified operators must, for the period from April 1, 2020 to Oct. 31, 2020, have incurred a year-over-year revenue loss for room accommodation of greater than 30 per cent compared to same period the previous year.

New operators who were not in business before April 1, 2020 may still be entitled to a rebate if they can demonstrate lower than 50 per cent occupancy rate since opening their business. 

Program information and eligibility criteria is available at:

“This program is a great first step in opening conversations with the province about the need for relief that can assist us at this time. Our role as the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia is to continue to work with the province. The hotels need relief that will not only sustain us now, but that will work towards the regeneration of our industry in the future.”
– Megan Delaney, Hotel Association of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts: 
— Nova Scotia’s tourism industry is expected to generate $900,000 in 2020, compared to nearly $2.7 billion last year 
— accommodations operators experienced on average a 56 per cent decrease in the number of room nights sold to the end of August over the same period in 2019
— the industry employs about five per cent of Nova Scotians, or close to 50,000 people
— federal and provincial pandemic-response programming for the tourism industry to date includes wage subsidies, rent assistance, grants, business continuity vouchers and access to low-interest rate loans and credit

Source: Release #notw

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