COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
There is now a timeline for when the Columbia City Council could make a final vote regarding regulations for short term rentals in Columbia.
The pre-hearing for short term rentals is set for Jan. 21 and the vote scheduled for Feb. 3. Those days may be postponed if the city council gains more information on how it affects Columbia residents.
The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau said over the past few years there has been an increase in the number of travelers that stay in short term rentals like Airbnb, instead of hotels.
Megan McConachie, strategic Communications Manager at the Convention and Visitors Bureau said a 5% lodging tax is collected from hotels in Columbia. Most of that money funds the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the rest goes to the Columbia airport.
“They are obviously spending the night here," said McConachie. They’re dining in our restaurants, their shopping in our stores. So any sort of visitor is going to have a positive economical impact on our community.”
Mike Trapp thinks enforcing the lodging tax on short term rentals would be beneficial for Columbia's economy. Hotels already have this tax and it is an unfair advantage for short term rentals.
“They (short term rentals) should be brought into the taxing regime, that I’m sure of," said Trapp. But whether or not we want to continue being promissive about where they are located in the city, or whether we want to look into some reasonable restrictions I’m open to being convinced.”
Council members advise anyone with strong opinions, either way, to reach out to their local mayor or city council members and let their feelings be heard.