Castlegar City Council plans to look at short-term rental regulations

Castlegar City Council plans to look at short-term rental regulations

One councillor says Castlegar should start getting ready with short-term rental regulations.

The City of Castlegar doesn’t have any short-term rental regulations in place, but with the B.C. government announcing last Wednesday that it has reached an arrangement with Airbnb, one councillor says its motivation for Castlegar City Council to start getting ready.

The arrangement will allow Airbnb to collect Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and the up-to-three-per-cent Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) on short-term rentals arranged through its platform.

In Castlegar, the MRDT is two percent.

Coun. Deb McIntosh says issues with short-term rentals have already come up in Castlegar and council will be looking at it.

“At planning and development, Airbnb issues have come to light and we will be looking at that in the future to see what can be done within Castlegar because there definitely are Airbnbs here,” she says.

“We haven’t started yet, but there will be some stuff coming forward and staff will be bringing forward a report — I just don’t know when exactly that report will be coming, but it is on our radar for sure,” she added.

The tax revenues will go into general revenue and will be used to fund affordable housing measures, according to the Ministry of Finance. The arrangement with Airbnb is just one part of the government’s housing affordability plan and more information about the government’s plan for housing will be available when the 2018 budget is introduced on Tuesday, Feb. 20.