Short-Term Rental Regulation Vote Tonight
The Austin City Council is taking up the issue of short term rentals tonight. It’s the council’s first meeting since a monthlong summer break, and over that time the issue of short term rentals has heated up.
Residents calling for stricter regulation of those rentals assembled outside City Hall today, rallying the troops ahead of a final vote on the issue tonight.
As they waved signs at passing cars, they argued for a ban on what they call commercial short term rentals — properties where the owner doesn’t live on site, which exist solely to be rented out.
“You’re dealing with very core, fundamental values for people that live in Austin: our neighborhoods, the affordability of our houses, the schools where our children go,” said Tom Nuckols, speaking for the new citizens group Protect Austin Neighborhoods.
His group says the item the council will act on tonight doesn’t go far enough. It calls for a 3 percent cap per ZIP code and sets up a licensing system.
“The reason that we’re having this conversation is now is that there is a small number of problem properties,” said Joel Rasmussen with the Austin Rental Alliance. He backs the proposed regulation but doesn’t support any type of ban.
He says a bigger issue is facilitating the collection of city taxes from hotels, motels and short term rentals.
The council will take up the rentals issue this evening, no earlier than 6:30.