Editor, The News:
Re: Tourism group wants hotel tax (The News, Jan. 28).
Once again, count on Coun. Craig Speirs to be the one who doesn’t get it.
If hotel developers and those who run hotels are now looking at Maple Ridge to build a hotel, that is precisely because Maple Ridge does not currently impose a hotel tax.
The idea that the district impose one, then use the money to promote tourism and new business is as backwards as it gets.
If a large group is planning a meeting or retreat, or a family is planning a wedding, then find out they will be charged an extra two per cent, do you think that will make a difference in their final decision?
The reason the tourism board was spun off to a private enterprise was to reduce the tax burden overall.
Why on earth would one remove one burden from the tax system, only to replace it with another? Nowhere else in Canada does one tax get eliminated only to get replaced by another, with no net gain to consumers or residents.
Perhaps this is why Coun. Speirs has his eye on Ottawa these days and not focused on Maple Ridge. This is typical move by him.
If we want to promote business and tourism in Maple Ridge, we need to send a clear message: open for business.
And Maple Ridge and New Westminster are the only municipalities in Metro Vancouver that don’t charge a tax on hotel rooms.