Letter: Is there a war on B&Bs in Powell River?

Has our City of Powell River council decided to declare war on B&Bs [“City considers short-term rental fee,” January 25]?

I don’t recall seeing the declaration of a city policy regarding B&Bs. I know the statement that comes so easily: “If you are running a business you need to pay the taxes and fees that apply,” but how much thought is really going into this?

article continues below

I see talk of a business licence fee, provincial government taxes, a tax rate change to make property a commercial rate rather than a residential rate, plus a fee to be paid to a social housing fund. Wow, looks like a war to me, and there is talk of limiting the number that can apply. I think the city will win this war for sure.

But first, let’s ask some questions. Do B&Bs fill a need for the travelling public and if we were to eliminate 50 per cent of the local B&Bs would we drive away those visitors who would have visited here? Are we going to send out the message that we are not interested in B&B lovers coming to this fair city? Do B&Bs take away from the hotel industry that is fully taxed and licensed? Are users of the B&B concept the type of travellers who would not want to stay in a hotel if a B&B was not available? Would they just look at a different destination where there are B&B accommodations available?

I looked at the idea of a B&B at my home before all the publicity surrounding the idea right now. I am a pensioner and was looking at a way to supplement my pension income that never quite seems to cover all I desire.

After considering Canada Revenue Agency would claw back my pensions when I started to make extra income and the amount of work and income required to make it viable, it just didn’t add up. I would suggest that a majority of those who make up the 50 or so B&B operations in this city are in the same boat and need to work hard to make a small dent in their living expenses. I would also suggest that some of these B&B operators need this income just to remain in their present homes and a bunch of new fees would certainly push them into the need to sell and become part of the Powell River housing problem.

Can there be a few more questions asked on this issue and determine if B&Bs are a valuable part of attracting visitors here or are they the enemy that needs to be driven out?

Jerry Eskes
Park Avenue

Copyright © Powell River Peak


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Powell River Peak welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Community Event Calendar

Find out what's happening in your community and submit your own local events.