A developer exposed by a CKNW investigation for operating a luxury rental building like a hotel may have been breaking the law, but it’s the latest example of an illegal business that’s been a big source of revenue for tax collectors.
Developer Onni may have been skirting city rules by not having a hotel license or the proper zoning for its Level Furnished Living, but it was collecting taxes on short-term rentals.
Along with GST and PST, the Municipal Regional District Tax to support tourism marketing means 16% was going to other levels of government.
So how did the developer not get busted sooner?
The situation is similar to the one faced by marijuana dispensaries.
In a statement, the province, which collects the PST and MRDT, says failing to comply with rules from the City doesn’t relieve a business of the obligation to levy, collect, and remit tax payable.