Short-term rentals: Here’s what the City Council votes on Thursday
Kevin Litten of the Times-Picayune reports that the New Orleans City Council on Thursday (Dec. 1) is set to take what could be a historic vote on short-term rentals, establishing a regulatory framework for taxing and enforcing the practice of renting out rooms and houses to tourists citywide. The vote could be historic because New Orleans would be among the first cities in the nation to adopt rules in cooperation with short-term rentals like Airbnb.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, whose administration has been key to drafting the rules and negotiating with Airbnb and other short-term rental companies, released the text of the regulations on Monday (NOLA.com).
The council already took a preliminary vote on much of the rules governing when, where and how long short-term rentals will be legal (NOLA.com).
Here’s a look at what the documents, embedded below, include (NOLA.com).
- Provisions for a “City of New Orleans Neighborhood Housing Improvement Fund,” which will include $1 deposited into the fund for every night a short-term rental is occupied. This has been pitched as a way to help fund affordable housing efforts.
- An agreement between the city and Airbnb that will provide city officials with information about rentals that will allow them to collect hotel taxes. Tax collection has been a key issue: Airbnb wants to pay taxes to legitimize the business, and city officials want to collect taxes on short-term rentals to put the business on the same plane as traditional hotels.
- Under an ordinance up for City Council vote on Thursday, the definition of “dealer” would be changed to include anyone “who is engaged in the collecting the amount required to be paid by a transient guest as a condition of occupancy at a residential location.” It means that “dealers” would be subject to the tax.
- Changes to the city’s zoning code that would outline what types of short-term rentals would be allowed, how long a host could rent each type out, and expanding the allowance of short-term rentals in commercial districts. It also outlines requirements for short-term rentals, including safety standards, and breaks down the permits required for Airbnb hosts. The legislation is complicated, but a breakdown of the types and zoning changes is available here.
- The documents below also contain a set of amendments that appear to have already been incorporated in the zoning change ordinance.
- An ordinance that creates a permit structure for short-term rentals will also be voted upon. The permits enumerated in the ordinance include a license for accessory (rentals within an occupied home or duplex), a temporary (a whole-home rental not owner-occupied) and commercial short-term rental (located in a defined commercial district). Accessory permits will cost $200, temporary permits will cost $50 and commercial permits will cost $500. The permits will be issued annually (NOLA.com).
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