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Town considers applying lodging tax to ‘AirBnBs’

by Tom Chillemi

The short-term rental of rooms and houses is on the radar of the Urbanna Town Council.

“AirBnB” has revolutionized lodging through its online service that connects travelers with those who want to rent space in their residences. The Virginia General Assembly has authorized localities to enact an ordinance requiring registration by those who rent property on a short-term basis, which is defined as “fewer than 30 consecutive days.”

The State Code provides that the town can limit where short-term rentals operate through its zoning ordinances, explained town council attorney Andy Bury.

Bury said the town code already allows the town to collect its 5% lodging tax from these in-home rentals.

This lodging tax has not been collected yet from operators of short-term rentals, but it is collected by established motel operators. “That doesn’t seem exactly fair for one to be paying it while some are not,” said council member Larry Chowning.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 11.21.2017

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