Airbnb and other sites may be hit with mandatory taxes

If Quebec hotel owners have their way,  websites that feature house, cottage and apartment rentals, and by extension their members, will have to start including taxes in their bills.

A government committee mandated to examine illegal B & Bs and other establishments operating without a permit is studying the proposal. Websites such as Airbnb and World Home Rental don't have to charge government and lodging taxes and the Hotel Association of Quebec says that has to change to provide a level playing  field since such websites are becoming so popular.

Thomas Asselin helps run one of those websites, RSVPcottages.com and he's all for it.

"It will just put everybody on the same level," Asselin told CJAD 800 News.

"A lot of people like that, too, they don't declare their revenue to the government also, so it's a double and triple illegal action."

Asselin said he doesn't believe charging such a lodging tax will hurt business.

"It's only two or three per cent. You know,  this tax is used to promote tourism and make advertising all over the place," Asselin said.

"It will not only help our business but it will help the whole business."

A study by the Montreal Association of B & Bs and Tourist Residences suggests there are nearly 6500 establishments operating without a permit.

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