Letter to the Editor: Short-term rentals should not get preferential treatment | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Short-term rentals should not get preferential treatment

Chris Dorton

In a letter to the editor on Feb. 22, the writer makes several points regarding new short-term rental regulations in the county.

The writer states, “Small business opportunities for cleaning, hot tub maintenance, handymen, electricians, plumbers and painters,” will be reduced. Houses “eat” services whether they are owner occupied or short-term rentals.

We had a water leak recently at our home. That event is providing work for: dry wall installers, insulation installers, plumbers, electricians, painters and floor installers. A year rarely goes by that our home doesn’t require something. 

If the writer of the letter knows of a self-cleaning, self-snow-removing, self-repairing, self-painting home, please enlighten me as we’re on the way. I’m not buying this argument that short-term rental regulations will reduce work for local contractors.

The true complaint of the writer is at the bottom of the article. It’s contained in this sentence fragment, “not removing our ability to run a business.” Note the word, “business.”

Short-term rentals should be treated for what they are: income generating “businesses.” It follows logically that:

  1. They should only be located in commercial resort areas and not residential neighborhoods.  When we bought our home, we didn’t sign on for the “motel” across the street from us in a residential neighborhood.
  2. They should pay commercial property taxes as a “business” at 29%. Not at the far-more-favorable residential rate of 6.75% with the first $15,000 of value exempted.

By allowing this, the state provides an enormous tax advantage to short-term rentals in relation to commercial hotels and motels.

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Or should short-term rentals continue to receive preferential tax treatment? This amounts to a taxpayer subsidy to an income generating “business.”

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