Regulating residential rental businesses allowing short stays in their facilities still appears to be on the City of Portland’s front legislative burners. In mid-January, the Council was examining two amendments that would affect short-term rentals in Portland.
Speaking for the Short Term Rental Advocacy Center (STRAC), part of a nationwide organization lobbying for regulations beneficial to the hospitality and tourist industries, Philip Minardi cautioned that business owners need to be in on the conversation: “Before moving forward with new amendments to what is still a very new regulatory ordinance, city policymakers have the responsibility to bring all short-term rental stakeholders to the table to provide input.”
Minardi said that excluding local short-term rental owners and their customers resulted in the City structuring an ordinance that falls short of meeting owners’ needs. He called for “making the regulatory process for rental providers easy and affordable…the only path to improving compliance, which will ultimately lead to greater economic benefits to the entire city.”
Minardi went on to say that one of the amendments being considered by the Council burdens the short-term platforms like AirBnB with collecting a city tax on lodging. He characterized this regulation as “simply an abdication of responsibility by the city of Portland and a violation of the privacy of the platforms’ end users.” He urged the city to “not throw up regulatory hurdles that stifle local entrepreneurship and economic growth.”