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Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program

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Today, March 12, the Rankin government announced a $7.3 million program to support Nova Scotia’s hotel, motel and inn operators, who have been hard hit by the global pandemic.The Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program Part 2 provides qualified operators a 50 per cent rebate on payment of the first six months of their 2021-22 commercial property tax.This one-time payment will help ease some of the pressures experienced by operators resulting from the restrictions of the pandemic. Operators can use the rebate for any aspect of their business, such as hiring staff, paying down debt, paying utilities or ordering supplies."We know the tourism and hospitality sector has been severely impacted by the global pandemic,” said 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.”Operators who received payments under the first Tourism Accommodations Real Property Tax Rebate Program, which provided a 25 per cent rebate on the payment of 2020-21 commercial property taxes, will be automatically eligible.Just over 250 applications were received for the first program at a value of $6.7 million.As municipalities issue property tax bills at different times, the program will remain open throughout the year.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, not be in arrears of property taxes or property tax installment payments and have experienced a year-over-year revenue loss of at least 30 per cent from April 1 to Oct. 31, 2020.New operators who were not in business before March 30, 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 will be available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/support/#support-for-businessQuotes: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. Jeff Ransome, general manager of the Halifax Marriott HarbourfrontQuick Facts:the industry employs about five per cent of Nova Scotians, or close to 50,000 peoplethe first Tourism Accommodation Real Property Tax Rebate Program provided a 25 per cent rebate on the payment of 2020-21 commercial property taxesas of March 4, $6.7 million has been paid to 252 applicants to the initial program that closed in December 2020provincial pandemic-response programming for the tourism industry to date includes grants, business continuity vouchers and access to low-interest loans and credit. The sector is also being supported with programming, webinars and training.Additional Resources:Tourist Accommodation Registration Act: https://nslegislature.ca/sites/default/files/legc/statutes/tourist%20accommodations%20registration.pdfProvincial COVID-19 supports for business: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/support/#support-for-businessFederal COVID-19 supports for business: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses  https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20210312001