New Brunswick

Tourism levy being considered to help with marketing, says minister

New Brunswick's tourism minister says he's looking at a proposal from tourism operators for a levy that would help pay for more marketing.

Bill Fraser says a levy would probably bring in millions of dollars

New Brunswick's tourism minister says he's looking at a proposal from tourism operators for a levy that would help pay for more marketing.

Tourism Minister Bill Fraser says it's unlikely any levy would be in place by this summer.
The proposal from the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick would see hotels and inns collect a three per cent levy from guests that would be used to fund promotional campaigns for New Brunswick destinations.

Minister Bill Fraser says such a levy would probably bring in millions of dollars.

It's unlikely it would be in place for the 2015 summer season, he said.

"We're looking at the proposal. No decision has been made," Fraser said on Friday.

"I've also discussed with various tourism operators and associations around the province some suggestions on how a levy might be beneficial to them and the province."

The Taxpayer Protection Act, which was passed by the former Bernard Lord government, says any new tax must be approved by a referendum or formally announced during an election campaign.

"The levy portion of the Tourism Marketing Fund is considered a new tax," the Tourism Industry Association had stated in a letter to the Liberals on Aug. 6, before the provincial election.

"Without a referendum or legislated adjustments, this would be a violation of the Taxpayer Protection Act," the letter said.

The Gallant government has introduced legislation to repeal the Taxpayer Protection Act.

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