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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Letter: Use revenue from accommodation levy to give taxpayers a break
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Dear editor:

So the town’s municipal accommodation tax has been given full approval, “NOTL’s 2% hotel room tax begins July 1,” (The Lake Report, June 23).

It passed with Couns. Clare Cameron, Gary Burroughs, Wendy Cheropita and Erwin Wiens, who previously fought the tax by consistently voting against it while supporting the special interests, finally voting to implement it.

It seems that councillors Burroughs and Cheropita (the other two have declared they are not running) have seen the writing on the election wall and are trying to gaslight the electorate.

Rest assured we will remind voters that these two always seem to put special interests before ratepayers.

But, folks, the fight to use part of the town’s portion to offset tourism infrastructure paid for with our taxes and for the benefit and profit of the special interests, is not over.

The Local printed yet another full-page article June 29 airing the special interests continued gaslighting about the tax.

No paper has done an article from the ratepayers’ point or even attempted to put a number to the tax burden associated with NOTL’s tourism infrastructure.

Councillors, especially Erwin Wiens at the council meeting, continue to resist using accommodation tax revenue to offset any of the annual approximately $1 million of ratepayer taxes currently used to support tourism infrastructure.

It’s about time the lord mayor and council put ratepayers first by voting for a more aggressive ramp up of the tax to 4 per cent and expanding the levy to all tourist rooms.

They also must codify the use of its revenue to first offset ratepayer taxes, which pay for the tourism infrastructure, before any new tourism projects.

Kudos to Coun. Sandra O’Connor for proposing to move up the timeline so that the tax would reach 4 per cent by 2024.

Raspberries to Lord Mayor Betty Disero for her flippant dismissal of O’Connor with her “Nice try” quip.

Yes, lord mayor, it is always a nice try when proposals try to put ratepayers first.

Joe Accardo

NOTL