In what some are calling a money grab, short-term-rental operators will face a 400 percent increase in city fees next year.

José Mendiola: 409-683-5230 or



(13) comments

Jon Welch

Simple math: $185,000 collected in 2022 at $50 per short-term rental equates to 3700 registered homes. Increase that amount to $250 per STR, you collect $925,000 per year. At five years, that totals $4,625,000. Per the article, the software cost $1.3 million. So where does the remaining $3.3 million go? Money grabbers?

Bailey Jones

If you can't afford a $250 fee - the same as a taco truck, and less than $1 per booking night - you probably need a different business model. I'll just note that the purpose of this fee is to address the ills of the STR industry. The explosion in the number of registered STRs - almost 5,000 - shows just how many STRs were operating under the radar before Airbnb and the other online agents began requiring registration numbers to operate on their platforms. This "24-hour call center to field complaints about rental units and to pay for enforcement of codes governing the industry" would not be necessary if STRs policed themselves.

If STR operators are unable or unwilling to pay this new fee, they have a simple option - return their STRs to the long-term rental market, or sell them to families looking for decent housing on the island.

Jon Welch

No where did I say anything about affordability, however, we should be made aware of what that fee covers if we're told we have to pay it.

Bailey Jones

I don't disagree, Jon, and I wasn't replying to your comment - it wasn't posted at the time I write mine.

Rusty Schroeder

That's a real nice "simple option". Why don't you sell your property "to families looking for decent housing on the island" ? Are the taco trucks giving 15% of each $ earned to HOT taxes? After the software program is paid for will the $250 fee be reduced? Of course it won't, it will pay for Parks Board vacations to scout entertainment options like the July 4th Drone Show. How many of these scouting vacations were taken to look at drone shows ? The 24 hour call center is a joke, an expensive joke.

Gary Scoggin

Bailey. My thoughts as well. If an increase of $200/year makes the investment suddenly unprofitable, the problems is the business model.

Raul Reyes

Exactly. STRs have stripped the island of affordable long term rentals.

Wayne Holt

Can you explain how using your own property to maximize your financial wellbeing strips the island of affordable long term rentals? I don't own any STR property so I'm not talking my book.

I don't understand how rental property owners have somehow acquired the responsibility to provide long term rental properties at affordable rates. Is that codified in law, or just you wanting to benefit some while appropriating others' assets?

Unless every STR owner somehow is granted non-profit charitable status, I fail to see the ethical or legal imperative you seem to have in mind.

Noel Spencer

So glad to see that the City is finally serious about better monitoring of these businesses that operate in our neighborhoods. A $ 16 per month increase in the annual fee seems reasonable compared to what many other cities are now charging.

Raul Reyes


Larry Grissom

As a vacation rental owner there are a lot of very valid points in the comments. I appreciated reading them.

To me? I want to help my city recover from the tourist. If it means an increase? I’ll happily pay it. I know the damage done, the weight put on services and the all around hassle. I also recognize that many, including my family, KNEW we were moving to a tourist destination when we moved here. I have no right to complain now

As for the amount and where it will ALL be allocated? Yes. We deserve to know. We vote many into office and if we suspect someone is not doing their fiduciary duty? Then we hire someone new in the next election.

Dwight Burns


Lydia Parker

There are more people excited about this increase than there are upset by it. The other 90% are us homeowners that are troubled by the pop-up hotels next door.

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