Short-Term Rental Regulations Go Before St. Paul Planning Commission

An Airbnb office in Toronto, Canada Photo: Wikimedia Commons, File
An Airbnb office in Toronto, Canada

June 02, 2017 12:40 PM

On the heels of a zoning study regarding short term rentals, the city of St. Paul's Planning Commission listened to an hour of public testimony Friday.

The city's study led to a series of proposed amendments, including taxes and licensing for people who rent rooms or homes on vacation rental websites, like Airbnb and VRBO.

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Right now, short-term renters aren't taxed or even licensed, leaving some bed and breakfasts calling for a level playing field.

"Short-term rentals are in private homes just like B&Bs," one bed and breakfast operator said. "Short-term rentals are in multi-family buildings, just like apartments or hotels. The regulations you have already debated and established for B&Bs and hotels logically apply to short-term rentals."

Most of the public comment came from people who have been renting on Airbnb for years. Many of them said the money earned goes toward maintaining and improving their old, and often historic, homes. A number of short-term renters also dispelled the idea that Airbnb and VRBO bring partiers and other problems into St. Paul's neighborhoods.

"Airbnb brings the world to my doorstep," one woman explained. "I know people in Bangalore, Brazil, Boston and in Beijing. They've all been through my door. My neighbors love that and so do I. That would be gone." 

Credits

Tyler Berg

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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