Why The Boise City Council Seeks to Tax Short Term Rentals
The Boise mayor and city council will meet Tuesday night to discuss the city's move to license short-term rentals. As many of us know, and some of us have used, the Airbnb market is a lucrative way to make money while offering folks a place to stay at a reasonable price.
Mayor McLean says that the city needs to regulate the short-term market due to safety concerns. She shared her thoughts on the upcoming meeting in a release.
"People are struggling to afford a home in Boise, and this is one of many tools the city is creating to help ensure there is a home for everyone," said Boise Mayor Lauren McLean. "I have heard the concerns about the impacts of short-term rentals on neighborhoods and the rental market. This protects the public welfare and safety along with the integrity of our neighborhoods in which these short-term rentals operate."
There has been some mystery over what the exact ordinance will say, reports the Idaho Statesman. You can read a version of the proposal here. There is some language in the bill that should raise some eyebrows.
"WHEREAS, renters injured or killed while staying in a short-term rental are additionally harmed when such property’s insurance is inappropriate, insufficient, or is not insured; and
WHEREAS, short-term rental licensing will also help the City address negative effects on City neighborhoods and low-income housing caused by the short-term rental market.
The statements above would lead one to ask if anyone has been injured or killed while renting a short-term place to stay in Boise? How would a regulation prevent such a crime? In fairness to the city, perhaps this ordinance is a way of limiting potential residents from getting ripped off by scammers?
The proposal appears to require insurance to cover any potential damages. However, any responsible landlord would have that insurance in place. The question for the city is whether or not the residents can be trusted to be accountable for their properties, or do they need a nanny state-like ordinance to do it for them?