Richmond commissioners consider ordinance to regulate short-term rentals – WKYT

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) – As more people and businesses come to Richmond, so do more short-term rentals. And now city commissioners are looking for a way to regulate them.

“We need to make sure whoever is operating an Airbnb is doing so safely,” said Mayor Robert Blythe.

Mayor Blythe said if passed, the short-term rental ordinance would do a few things. One, it would require the owner or operator to register annually with code enforcement.

“It’s necessary. It’s to make sure what you’re doing is proper. And that the people you’re bringing is as your customers and clients are being treated appropriately.”

The amended ordinance would not require a registration fee now, but it does require owners to register with the City of Richmond. The city could then collect transient room taxes and applicable occupational license taxes.

“We’ve got to make sure we are being consistent in the way these are treated in the codes the must comply with and the taxes and fees they must pay if they’re going to operate as a business in our communities.”

Without an ordinance, Mayor Blythe said they have no way to regulate or even track which homes are operating as short-term rentals. But in following the leads of cities like Lexington and Georgetown, these regulations would change that.

“But I’m excited. This means people are coming to Richmond. And that’s a good thing.”

This was the second reading of the ordinance Tuesday night, but since it was amended, it will need one more reading. Then commissioners can take a vote at their next regular meeting in February.

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