HUNTSVILLE Ever wonder where that municipal hotel tax fee on your room goes?

Well, the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association (HMATA) has partnered with 11 local organizations and recently approved $233,000 in funding through their new partnership program announced in December.

“The goal of this program is to engage organizations, with new and existing initiatives, that are well positioned to grow overnight visits in the town of Huntsville”, said Jesse Hamilton, chair of HMATA in release this week.

“This program provides us the opportunity to support organizations that are positively impacting tourism, while at the same time leveraging these tax dollars to rive occupancy and increase funding for partnerships in the future.  As we expected, most of the funding went to local organizations and all of it will result in great things happening here in Huntsville”.

The following nine organizations will be entering into agreements with HMATA in the next thirty days and with the support of these funds will be marketing the Town of Huntsville as part of their unique events, activities, and programs in 2020:

  • Huntsville Girls Hockey
  • TriMuskoka Triathlon Club
  • Explorer’s Edge (RTO12)
  • Huntsville Festival of the Arts
  • Muskoka Hornets Baseball Association
  • FITT Events (Band on the Run)
  • Ontario Museum Association
  • Paradigm Events (Retreat to Nature Wellness Initiative)
  • OFSAA Nordic Ski Championships

Also, the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce and the Huntsville Downtown BIA also received funding to develop shoulder-season initiatives and marketing programs.

With the first intake now complete, HMATA will continue their work on a greater tourism plan, with numerous stakeholders in Huntsville, and will also start to consider the timing for their next round of funding.

“We are excited about this first milestone for HMATA and have already seen that these partnerships will strongly support our goal of increasing year round occupancy, and ensuring a positive economic impact in Huntsville”, says Hamilton, Chair of HMATA, “We’re looking forward to working with these organizations to foster growth in our community”.

The municipal accommodation tax is a three-year pilot project in Huntsville. The tax is currently charged on short-term accommodations in the tourist town.

Accommodation providers such as hotels, motels, inns and bed and breakfast establishments are required to charge the fee and remit to the Town of Huntsville through the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association.

Currently, private cottage rentals are not applying the tax, but the Town of Huntsville is preparing to permit and collect from private cottage rental businesses such as Airbnb, VRBO and local businesses such as and Ontario Cottage Rentals Inc.

For more information about the Huntsville Municipal Accommodation Tax Association e-mail, or call 705-788-5847.

Tax recipients include: Rich Trenholm, of TriMuskokan; Scott Doughty, HMATA board member; Kerri Vallentin, Huntsville Girls Hockey; John Cowan, OFSAA Nordic Ski Championships; Rob Horton, Band on the Run; board member Mayor Karin Terziano and HMATA chair Jesse Hamilton.