New Requirements for Provincial Transfer Program

Effective September 1, 2015, updated program requirements are in place for all communities participating in the Municipal & Regional District Tax (MRDT) program, including changes to application, renewal and reporting requirements.    Communities are now also able to apply to increase the MRDT from 2% to 3%.

UBCM was not consulted on the revisions to the MRDT program.

Although the intent of the MRDT program remains largely intact, significant changes have been made that will impact local governments.  UBCM requested a rationale for the changes to the program and we were informed that concerns had been identified to the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training, but that no summary report of these findings was available.

New applications, rate changes and renewal applications will now be subject to the requirement to submit a comprehensive application package.  This includes a new requirement for evidence of consultation with tourism industry stakeholders.  It is expected that it will take 6-9 months for an applicant to complete the application approval process.

The reporting requirements have also seen substantial changes, including an ‘annual performance management’ component.  In addition to the 5-year Strategic Business Plan that is required at the application stage, MRDT communities are required to submit one-year tactical plans that include performance metrics (annually in November) as well as annual performance reports with mandatory performance metrics and annual financial reports (both in April).  All new reporting elements will be required as of 2016.

All communities wishing to apply for the MRDT at 3% or to increase their existing MRDT to 3% should be aware that they will be subject to additional reporting requirements and will be required to sponsor the new Tourism Events Program by contributing 20% on the increased 1% to the Province in order to fund the new program.

Seven communities were approved under the MRDT program between 1987 and 1999 and were grand-parented from the requirement to renew their status.  These grand-parented communities will continue to be exempt from the renewal requirement, but will now be required to submit a 5-year Strategic Business Plan and to comply with the updated annual reporting requirements.

The MRDT program is jointly administered by the Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training; and Destination BC.  For more information on the MRDT or the new program requirements, local governments should refer to the new MRDT website or contact MRDT@destinationbc.ca.

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