Calgary Hotel Association asks council for tax and utility fee relief

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Calgary hotels are still suffering amid the COVID-19 pandemic and officials are urged to take action, says a letter to city council released Thursday.

The document, from the Calgary Hotel Association (CHA), says that while it is grateful to the city for agreeing to defer municipal property taxes until the end of this year, the industry is still suffering immense financial losses.

That is why he is now asking for a reduction in all utility costs and municipal taxes from January 1 to May 31.

“With the impacts of the new Omicron COVID variant, and even more so the impact of the US government’s call for Americans not to travel to Canada, the outcome has been disastrous for Calgary hotels,” Sol Zia wrote. , Executive Director of the CHA.

“Examples of revenue loss can be seen across Calgary and not just downtown.”

Zia also says projections for 2022 point to more than $500 million in lost revenue, losses that could be catastrophic for many Calgary entrepreneurs.

“More than half of Calgary’s hotels are family-owned and operated, and with the exception of Q3 2021, all hotel owners have underwritten operations, payroll, taxes and utilities since March 2020. Calgary hotels are struggling with cash flow and ability to cover basic operating, utility and staffing costs,” Zia said.

The CHA says the provincial government has also been contacted with a similar request. This level of government has already reduced Alberta’s tourism tax until March 31, but the CHA wants this extended until May 31 for all hotels that can show a revenue drop of 40% or more.

“CHA is asking the City of Calgary to consider a reduction, under the same formula (documented 40% change in revenue for comparable periods in 2019), as the Government of Alberta, of all utility costs administered by the city and all municipal taxes (commercial and other) from January 1, 2022 to May 31, 2022,” Zia wrote.

Zia adds that the hospitality industry believes these measures will help prevent hotels from closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s clear that Calgary’s accommodations industry will take a very long time to recover, and the recovery will continue well into the future,” Zia said.

“We call on your government to expand support for hotels in Calgary and stand ready to work closely with you on a plan and action plan to support these hotels in their most precarious situations.”

CTV News has contacted the City of Calgary for a statement on the CHA letter.


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