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New Vancouver tax intended to chip away at FIFA World Cup costs

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The price of hosting the FIFA World Cup is rising in Vancouver, and the province is using a new tool to help cover the costs.

In the fall, the city requested a temporary bump to the Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) on short-term accommodations to raise funds.

Starting on Wednesday, overnight visitors to Vancouver will be required to pay an additional $2.50 on each $100 paid on a room.

“We’ve had FIFA come and do an initial assessment, and there’s going to be some work done on BC Place, and we have to look at security issues, of course, which is always an issue, and inflation,” said B.C. Finance Minister Katrine Conroy.

The event was initially slated to cost upwards of $260 million, and the province expects the new tax could garner $230 million over the next seven years.

Conroy told CTV News that after consulting with the City of Vancouver, Destination Vancouver and the local accommodation sector, they agreed to the 2.5 per cent tax on short-term accommodation sales.

The province says communities can apply for the tax for dedicated, time-limited support for eligible major, internationally recognized events that help bolster international visitation to the province.

“We’re so excited to be hosting the FIFA World Cup 2026, one of the world’s largest sporting events, here in Vancouver,” said Ken Sim, the mayor of Vancouver.

“Vancouver has welcomed the world on many occasions, but this global celebration of soccer and national pride is an extraordinary opportunity. The economic impacts and benefits to Vancouver will be felt in the leadup to the FIFA World Cup, throughout the event and long after the final whistle blows in 2026.”

Destination Vancouver is expecting the tournament will attract more than 250,000 visitors to the city, with approximately 50 per cent of them coming from outside of Canada and the United States.

Vancouver is among a group of North American cities that will host games in 2026, sharing the Canadian stage with Toronto.  

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