State Senator Says Short Term Rentals Should Pay Room Tax and Sales Tax
‘If you can’t ban ‘em, tax ‘em’. That’s how vacation rentals like Airbnb’s should be handled, according to State Senator Tick Segerblom, Democrat from Las Vegas.
“Short-term rental owners should pay a room tax and sales taxes”, Segerblom tells The Now Report. “Not only should they be heavily taxed, they should be heavily restricted”. The typical room tax on the Las Vegas Strip, which is collected by Clark County, not the City of Las Vegas, is 13.38% of the cost of the room rental itself. Proceeds from the room tax fund the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, education, transportation and most recently the construction of the new Raiders Stadium. Segerblom says a lot of vacation rentals are near the Strip and the owners are taking advantage of that and should be taxed accordingly.
Segerblom wrote a letter to Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman on June 14 to support City Council Bill #2017-16. The bill seeks to tighten restrictions on vacation rental owners and has been controversial since it was introduced. Supporters of the bill want it to be more restrictive and ban the practice altogether because they say the rentals are party houses and the short-term tenants are wreaking havoc in normally quiet neighborhoods. Opponents of the bill say they should be able to do whatever they want with their property. Las Vegas allows short term rentals, but they’re banned in North Las Vegas Henderson, Boulder City and unincorporated areas of Clark County.
Vacation rentals are also not permitted by most HOA’s so they tend to pop up and operate in older neighborhoods that don’t have an HOA. There are several in the historic Scotch 80 neighborhood, both licensed and unlicensed. Segerblom and Goodman both live in the Scotch 80. Goodman has not indicated where she stands on the issue, even though her neighbors have pushed her to make her position public. The Las Vegas City Council is holding a Recommending Committee meeting Monday, June 19 at 10:00 am in city council chambers so residents can have one last chance to voice their opinions.
The vote on Bill # 2017-16 is expected Wednesday, June 21 at the regular council meeting.