15.2 C
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Letter: Should absentee homeowners be taxed more, too?

Dear editor:

We are proud owners of a property in NOTL that we rent out to visitors for approximately one-third of the year.

We have been running this for eight years with excellent property managers who live in town.

We dearly love our property and spend many hours keeping our property looking the very best it can be. Many local residents have commented on how well we have improved the property.

We are involved in our community, we are “real” people, I have been a member of a board in the town, my husband and I are members of Friends of Fort George and attend many functions.

We have excellent relationships with our neighbours and take great interest in the community. We support the community in two major ways: we live and spend our money in the community and we bring wonderful visitors to town and they also spend money locally. We are not “hollowing out” the community.

We are the real people in this town! You may not be aware that 50 per cent of short-term vacation rentals are actually owned by so-called real people living in town.

Short-term rental properties should not have to pay more taxes than B&Bs. This is not fair at all. We are all in the same business, providing accommodations to the two million yearly visitors to the town.

We turn away 50 per cent of potential guests as we want to protect the community. Like anyone else, we don't want parties happening in our home. We have multi-generational families staying in our home. We often hear from neighbours how nice our guests are and some were even invited to a neighbourhood street party barbecue!

We know of people that have second homes in NOTL. They do not operate short-term rentals but they are not living in the property full-time either! Should their taxes be raised? 

You talk about B&Bs being “hobby businesses.” I know several B&B owners and I think they would strongly disagree with you. They own businesses and are keen to make a profit like any business in town, including yourselves with The Lake Report.

From our perspective, this town needs to ensure anyone running a short-term rental property is always properly registered/regulated with the municipality. We agree with you that anyone operating illegally should face a hefty fine.

Finally, raising taxes is not the solution to “protecting” the town we all love.

Alison and Nick Lloyd-Davies