MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Jennifer Kirkham

Geographical Areas

Ontario, Barrie, Belleville, Brockville, Cambridge, Cochrane, Cornwall, Dryden, Fort Frances, Ganaoque, Greater Sudbury, Hearst, Huntsville, Kapuskasing, Kenora, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Marathon, Markham, Mississauga, Niagara Falls, North Bay, Oakville, Orillia, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peterborough, Point Edward, Prince Edward, Quinte West, Red Lake, Sarnia, Sioux Lookout, South Bruce Peninsula, Stratford, Terrace Bay, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Vaughan, Waterloo, Wellesley, Wilmot, Windsor, Woolwich


In recent years the Province of Ontario has enabled municipalities to adopt accommodation taxes as a revenue generating tool. There is an absence of data in Canada as to what this revenue is being utilized for. Most of the literature on the topic comes out of the United States and Europe, where hotel and accommodation taxes have been commonplace for many years, although a lot of the research focuses on the impacts of accommodation taxes on tourism. Hypothesising that the accommodation tax in Ontario is being utilized as a revenue-generating tool to offset other line items in municipal budgets, this paper examines municipalities in Ontario that have imposed an accommodation tax and the utilization of the funds generated. The research question being examined is what Ontario municipalities are doing with the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) revenue that they have discretion over. This paper uses an inductive research strategy involving observation through various publicly available content, such as by-laws, staff reports, budget documents and meeting minutes to determine what municipalities are doing with the revenue from the MAT. The analysis reveals most municipalities in Ontario are allocating all, or at least part, of the revenue that they have discretion over to tourism initiatives.