Support Four Amendments to Bill 18-0189 (Short Term Rentals) & Baltimore Hosts Coalition

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I support Baltimore’s short-term rental hosts and the amendments proposed by the Baltimore Hosts Coalition to City Council Bill 18-1089I fully support all efforts to ensure these owners operate safely and legally, and pay their fair share of taxes to support our City at a time when Baltimore City and its neighborhoods need more income and tourist dollars, not less! I reject the anti-competitive regulations proposed in the original version of this bill and support the four amendments listed below. 

Proposed Amendments to City Council Bill 18-0189 

  1. Remove the 60 day cap on the number of nights they can operate: If licensed and taxed like other businesses, short term rentals should be allowed to operate 365 days a year, like a business or a hotel.
  2. Remove the limit on the number of licenses allowed to be purchased by hosts: don't limit small businesses and taxes for the city.
  3. No taxation, without representation: the occupancy taxes paid by short term rental guests will fund Visit Baltimore’s activities, so short term rental hosts should have a say in what happens to their funds.
  4. Change the definition of transient guests from 90 days to 30 days: to ensure that traveling nurses, medical residents, students, professors, patients getting long term treatment at our world renowned medical institutions and others are not limited by the availability of furnished homes for extended stays.

These hosts and small business owners bring vital tourist dollars to all parts of Baltimore’s economy, its neighborhoods, and its locally owned businesses. Whether renting out a room in their home, a whole home, or multiple homes, each host plays an important role in our city. Baltimore hosts are tax paying citizens who live, work and spend their money and profits here in Baltimore City.

I oppose the restrictions on the number of days a year these hosts can operate their businesses or open new locations. City residents should be afforded the same opportunity to operate and grow their business as any other legitimate business. These short term rental guests visit our neighborhoods to experience our charm, food, drink, services, and goods and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. This cap will decrease the number of visitors and tourist dollars being spent in neighborhoods at a time when many small businesses in our city are struggling. 

Baltimore Hosts are civic-minded residents who support neighborhood and nonprofit organizations working to improve our city and neighborhoods. These amendments will allow small businesses and homeowners who have invested in our city to continue to operate their businesses and encourage them to re-invest in Baltimore City! 

All Baltimore City property owners should be allowed to legally rent all or part of their property as a short term rental in order to pay their bills should their personal or financial circumstances change. Do not pass anti-competitive regulations in favor of the hotel industry that inhibits potential buyers from purchasing property in Baltimore City because they fear limits on future use of their property.  

I am asking you to support these hosts and reject anti-competitive regulations dictating how much or where Baltimore’s tax paying residents can work. I hope you will support these amendments and a fairer short-term rental law that will benefit all of Baltimore’s businesses, residents and families.  

Thank you!

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