The Issue

The Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) was introduced in 1987 by the Provincial Government to provide funding for local tourism marketing, programs, and projects. This tax was originally the hotel tax, which then evolved into the MRDT which gave municipalities the revenue to grow their communities.
The 2018 Budget expanded the use of MRDT and Online Accommodation Platform (OAP) tax revenues to include affordable housing. Some municipalities have applied for 3% MRDT, 1% of which is earmarked for affordable housing.
Currently, when designated recipients apply for the MRDT funds, the communities need to go through the full application process which includes 14 pieces of documentation, among them, Appendix 1.8, the Annual Affordable Housing MRDT Report.


Expanding the use of the MRDT and OAP revenues to include affordable housing has raised concerns within the tourism community. The concern is that redirecting MRDT revenues into other initiatives will reduce funding available for tourism marketing. To mitigate municipalities unhindered ability to apply for MRDT and OAP funds, the BCHA is working to include the following two additions to Appendix 1.8:

  1. What bylaws have been implemented by the respective communities to address the short-term rental issue in their community?
  2. How successful have these bylaws and regulations been in regaining previously lost affordable monthly rental units?

By inserting these two additional questions in the application process, it is intended to require communities to have a full Short Term Rental regulatory framework in place before they can draw on MRDT and OAP funds.