Letter to the Editor: The realtor is right, short-term rentals are businesses and should be taxed as such

Chris Dorton

In an interview that was included in Saturday’s Summit Daily News, realtor Sara Gambino stated, “An investment property is essentially a business, because you’re generating income off of using your investment.” “They’ve been looking at the angles of short-term rentals for years,” Gambino said, “and it is essentially a business, but then it’s not treated like a business.” 

I agree completely that short-term rentals should be treated as income-generating “businesses.” It follows logically that:

First, they should only be located in commercial resort areas and not residential neighborhoods.

Second, they should pay commercial property taxes as a “business” at 29%.  Not at the far more favorable residential rate.

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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