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Government Taking Steps to Modernize Tourist Accommodations Legislation in Support of Tourism Growth

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Department of Business has tabled legislation to repeal the Tourist Accommodations Act (TAA) and replace it with a new registration act. Short-term accommodations providers, except those who rent in their primary residence, will be required to register through a simple online system.

Government is seeking to replace outdated rules with a simple registration system that modernizes legislation and levels the playing field for tourism operators, big and small. 

If the legislation passes, changes will not take effect until next fiscal year, allowing for further consultation with municipalities and industry to shape regulations. For this year, the Tourist Accommodation Act remains in place and accommodations are required to be licensed for the period of April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. The deadline for accommodation operators to renew their 2019 licenses has been extended to April 30, 2019.

Government is also proposing amendments to the Assessment Act to ensure small-scale operators will pay a residential tax rate, rather than a commercial rate. Through consultation, regulations will be developed to define a small-scale tourist accommodation establishment, including the maximum number of rooms.

Nova Scotia has a goal to reach $4 billion in tourism revenues by 2024 and we need between 5,500 and 7,000 additional accommodation units to help achieve that goal.  Short-term rentals like Airbnb are growing in popularity in every corner of the province and around the world -- and will be key to meeting our goal.  This new legislation acknowledges the importance of all types of accommodations.

For further details, please see the news release issued by the Province of Nova Scotia.

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