The Tourism Improvement Fee (TIF) is used to offset a myriad of business costs and to support city-wide marketing efforts and local infrastructure improvements. It is at the sole discretion of each property to apply such a fee.
This fee helps fund and support a number of initiatives including fireworks performances, free concerts, local events, festivals, and community and restaurant marketing initiatives. Furthermore, a portion of this fee is applied to infrastructure improvements such as the convention centre, street-scaping, public space beautification, communication infrastructure, site development, and community planning. In addition, the fee supports internal restaurant initiatives including but not limited to restaurant maintenance and improvement, health and safety resources, and administration costs. By funding destination initiatives, such as fireworks presentations, concerts, and various local events, the TIF enhances visitor experiences for both the region and Spyce Lounge.
Why is it necessary at this time?
Funding for marketing and community endeavors is limited. Provincial spending on marketing for our region is limited. To remain competitive we need to increase the funding available for destination marketing and to offset the increased cost of business.
What is the method of determining how much money individual properties will collect?
Each participating business includes a discretionary percentage of their property’s room sales, and/or restaurant sales. The TIF rate (percentage) will vary from business to business and is set by each property individually.
Is the TIF a tax?
The TIF is not a tax, and should not be referred to as a tax. The provincial and/or government are not involved in the approval or collection of the TIF.
How does the TIF differ from the current taxes put on the bill by the provincial government?
The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is considered a consumption tax in Canada. It is used in provinces, including Ontario, where both the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the regional Provincial Sales Tax (PST) have been combined into a single value added sales tax. The HST is directed by government and is legislated. The TIF on the other hand is collected by individual businesses and is inclusive of HST.
What is the government’s role in the TIF?
None. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) recognizes the industry’s interest in developing revenue-generating tools to meet the needs of the regions and cities that they service. The Ministry considers tourism fees to be voluntary for businesses to participate within and considers them to be industry led initiatives.
Who will administer the TIF?
Each business will determine the best use of the funds they collect.
Is this fee voluntary?
The Fee is voluntary for hotels and other tourism partners to participate in. Should the property decide to implement a TIF, it is up to their discretion to make the charge mandatory for their customers. If a property implements a mandatory TIF, the customer under contract is obligated to pay the fee in full.