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Taxes, fees could be required to operate short-term rentals



Little Rock, Arkansas – As early as next week, the Little Rock Board of Directors may decide to adopt rules governing bed and breakfasts and short-term rentals (STRs) in the city.

The board will debate placing the ordinance on the agenda of the meeting on October 3 at its meeting on September 27.

The draft ordinance proposes some of the following:

• Implement a 4% tax on gross receipts of proceeds from Bed and Breakfast House/Short-Term Rentals
• Requires a business license to operate a Bed and Breakfast House/Short-Term Rentals
• Requires pre-existing Bed and Breakfast House/Short-Term Rentals to demonstrate compliance with Development Standards and pay a $150 administrative review fee
• Pay an annual inspection costing $100 per bedroom up to maximum of $500

Traveling therapist Kylie Blanton said she made the decision to explore new career prospects this year and chose to make her space available for short-term rentals.

“I take assignments for 3 months at a time [and] the only way I’ve been able to do that and keep my house is rent out,” Blanton said. “[I’m] using that to cover my mortgage and bills of the house while I’m gone.”

Blanton expressed concern that the new taxes and rules would affect her and other visitors who desire to stay in the capital city in a “home away from home.”

“Airbnb and all the other rental sites already have their regulations and monitor it themselves,” Blanton said. “So I don’t know why we need to have another person stepping in on top of that just to add more rules and regulations when what we are already doing is working.”

Blanton expressed her hope that the city’s board of directors would take the owners of bed and breakfasts and short-term rentals’ concerns into consideration.

“People who own Airbnbs aren’t people who are making a lot of money, some of them are but some of them are like me,” Blanton said. We are not making the extra money to pay all these fees, we’re just covering what we need.”


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