Legislators introduce bill to add vacation rentals to lodging tax

A bill has been introduced to extend the state’s lodging tax to include vacation rentals.

The measure has sponsors and co-sponsors from both parties, led by State Sens. Gary Simpson, R-Milford and Deborah Hudson, R-Greenville.

A story from Radio station Delaware 105.9 stated that the measure could raise between $8 million and $11 million a year. Proceeds from the tax go to tourism promotion efforts as well as the general fund.

Delwaare is facing a nearly $400 million budget shortfall.

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HB130

The vacation rental industryhas traditionally been handled by real estate brokers hired by landlords at the Delaware Beach.

However, the business has changed with the advent of Airbnb, which offers hotel-like reservations that can be handled by the landlord. Real estate companies are now rolling out their own apps in response.

There have also been concerns that the apps makes it easier to operate larger illegal lodging establishments that do not have to met health and safety standards of B&Bs and hotels.

Some states and nations are now taxing the online transactions, which can be easily added into the total lodging cost.

The measure is likely to face opposition from the Coastal Delawarereal estate industry.

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