HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government is introducing a new $7.3-million program to support hotel, motel and inn operators who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax-Rebate Program Part 2 will provide qualified operators a 50-per-cent rebate on payment of the first six months of their 2021-22 commercial property tax. These one-time payments can be used for any aspect of their business.
“We know the tourism-and-hospitality sector has been severely impacted by the global pandemic,” says Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Inclusive Economic Growth. “Travel and border restrictions, while important for our health and safety, have meant declines in visitors and ongoing cash flow challenges for our tourist accommodations operators.”
This rebate program is the second part of a program that previously provided a 25-per-cent rebate on the payment of 2020-21 commercial property taxes, which received more than 250 applicants. Those who received payments during phase one of the program will be automatically eligible for phase two.
“This is great news. I am so pleased the government has recognized how all of us in the hotel sector have been affected by the pandemic. The rebate program announced today will help us survive. It’s that important to our industry,” says Jeff Ransome, general manager, Halifax Marriott Harbourfront.
In order to qualify for the program, businesses 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 experienced a year-over-year revenue loss of at least 30 per cent from April 1 to Oct. 31, 2020, among other factors.
New operators not in business before March 30, 2020, may still be entitled to a rebate if they can demonstrate an occupancy rate lower than 50 per cent since opening the business.
More information about The Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax-Rebate Program Part 2 is available at novascotia.ca.