- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) - City officials have proposed legislation to regulate, limit and tax short-term Cleveland rentals arranged through home-sharing websites, but it has received some pushback from Airbnb and some local hosts.

Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration is following in the footsteps of other major markets in its attempts to manage the home-sharing business, which includes offerings on websites including Airbnb, HomeAway and FlipKey, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported (https://bit.ly/1Q6ps1E).

The issue was brought to city officials’ attention because of this summer’s Republican National Convention and the lodging demands in the city related to the massive event.

The short-term rental legislation was introduced in early January. It would update the city’s zoning code to permit short-term rentals in residential neighborhoods, cap a host’s ability to rent at 91 days per year, set basic standards and apply a 3 percent transient-occupancy tax, among other changes.

Airbnb, the largest player in the industry, has agreed to start collecting hotel taxes if City Council signs off on the bill, but the company said the rental limit could create a hardship for hosts who rely on short-term rentals. It is pushing for a 180-day limit instead, according to an attorney representing the company.

In an email, company spokesman Christopher Nulty said, “Across Cleveland, home sharing is making it possible for middle class people to turn what is typically their greatest expense - their housing - into an economic opportunity. And we trust the City Council - who has shown true leadership on this issue - will recognize the value and importance of being able to do this 180 days each year.”

The city wants to avoid entrepreneurs purchasing homes solely to rent them out on a short-term basis, the city’s chief corporate counsel, Richard Horvath, told the city planning commission recently.

City Council hasn’t yet discussed the short-term rental legislation introduced in January. A hearing is expected in March.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, https://www.cleveland.com


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