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Nova Scotia To Regulate Short-Term Accommodations In Bid To Grow Sector

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is proposing legislation to regulate the growing short−term accommodations sector.

Under changes that will repeal the Tourist Accommodations Act, operators using services such as Airbnb would be required to register through an online system, although the change would not apply to people who rent in their primary residence.

Business Minister Geoff MacLellan says the initial changes won’t take effect until a year from now to allow time for further consultations with municipalities and industry.

Accompanying amendments to the Assessment Act would ensure that small−scale operators would pay a residential property tax rate rather than a commercial rate.

The Department of Municipal Affairs would also develop regulations to define small−scale tourist accommodation establishments, including the maximum number of rooms allowed.

MacLellan says the changes are aimed at eliminating red tape to help the province grow the tourism sector to $4 billion in annual revenues by 2024.

The minister says an independent study estimates the province will require between 5,500 and 7,000 additional units to meet that goal.

Current estimates place the number of operators in the province at around 2,100.

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The Canadian Press, 2019