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Tourism fee: $300 tax at Anse Saint-Jean

Tourism fee: $300 tax at Anse Saint-Jean

The municipality of L'Anse-Saint-Jean, in Saguenay, has finally begun to move forward with its tourism project, and will now impose a tax of $300 per room on owners of tourist accommodation.

The list is far from making anyone happy as the municipal council was booed on Monday evening. Elected officials are moving forward despite all the public criticism.

Some owners believe that their reality is not taken into account and would like to be consulted in order to offer possible solutions. “It's terrible that they don't have any knowledge of tourism and accommodation. With a lot of prejudices that we are rich, that we make a lot of money, that we don't work, that rooms cost $100 a night,” said Mario Dufour, owner of the Auberge des Cévennes. Which has 15 rooms, “We get between $25 and $30 an hour to clean the rooms.”

The fees should finance tourism and sports infrastructure, including the Mont Edouard ski resort, which is fully recovering after serious financial difficulties.

The person heading up the mountain's fundraising campaign believed the fees were inevitable. “If we want to build something, we have no choice, it has to hurt everyone a little bit. We can no longer tax citizens,” said Jacques Chouinard.

Some owners find it unreasonable to pay these fees, which should largely fund Mont-Édouard's activities, when they are not working during the winter.

The person in charge of the fundraising campaign points out that the municipality is not limited to tourists from Mont Edouard. “I'm at the marina in the summer and this happens a lot. It consumes and creates waste. When the municipality takes them to the landfill, it's by the tons,” said Jacques Chouinard.

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Municipal Mayor Richard Peron explained that a working committee will be formed that includes two representatives from the hotel world, among others. Regulations can be amended. The elected official did not respond to interview requests from TVA Nouvelles.

A group of owners plans to verify the validity of the settlement with an attorney in order to evaluate the possibility of launching a legal challenge.