Updated: Oct 8, 2019
In Lisa Corbella’s article “Airbnb ghost hotel operators should be taxed like a business”, she states that all commercial operators should be taxed as a business.
Lisa says the devil is in the details – this is very correct. Using publicly available information, the residential/non-residential tax rate for Calgary is 0.6654% and 2.202170% respectively. Using a high-end 1 bedroom that is priced at $250,000 the municipal taxes at the residential/non-residential rate is $1664 and $5505, respectively.
Let’s compare those numbers to hotels. Using more publicly available information, one can calculate the property taxes paid by each hotel. Also since hotels have multiple rooms, it would be fair to divide the tax per room. Calgary’s premiere hotels are Hotel Arts, Westin, Palliser Hotel, and Sheraton Eau Claire - these hotels pay $5527, $5094, $2286, $2813 in municipal taxes per room respectively.
If a high-end one bedroom gets taxed at the non-residential tax rate it would be taxed more on a per room basis than The Westin, Palliser, and Sheraton while being virtually the same rate as Hotel Arts.
Neil, YYC Short Term Rentals
Math Below. All property tax numbers are taken from the City of Calgary website and number of rooms was found by Googling the hotel name.