Portland Reaches Settlement Over Hotel/Motel Tax

posted by Brad Ford -

The City of Portland has reached a settlement with HomeAway.com, Inc.over the city’s hotel/motel tax.

HomeAway.com includes HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com.

The settlement resolves three lawsuits in federal and state court.

Under the agreement, the websites will create a “pass-through registration system” for Portland-area Hosts.

  • The general terms of the settlement include:
  • HomeAway will pay the City $275,000 in release of all claims (about half of which goes to Multnomah County and half of which will be placed in the City of Portland’s Housing Investment Fund for housing and homeless services).
  • HomeAway will begin collecting and remitting the City of Portland and Multnomah County’s hotel/motel tax beginning on April 1, 2018.
  • HomeAway will develop an online registration system in which Hosts may apply for a short-term rental permit by providing the following information, which HomeAway will send to the City of Portland:
    • the first and last name, or business name, of the person listing the property (“Host”) and the property owner or resident if different from the person listing the property;
    • the Host, resident or property owner’s mailing address;
    • the Host, resident or property owner’s phone number and email address;
    • the address of the short-term rental property;
    • the number of rooms for rent in the short-term rental property;
    • the rental listing number or unique identification number for the listing; and
    • an attestation that the Host has read and understands and agrees to abide by the City’s applicable requirements.
  • If HomeAway Hosts fail to complete the short-term rental permit application process, HomeAway will remove the listing from its website.
  • The City will allow HomeAway Hosts to operate in a “permit pending” status until the Bureau of Development Services and Revenue Division process applications and registrations.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said, “When the City of Portland filed its lawsuit in 2015, it was seeking fair hotel tax collection and the locations of short-term rentals to ensure they are permitted and following the rules. This settlement delivers on both of those goals and opens the door to a partnership with HomeAway.”

“This settlement is good news for our thriving tourism industry. It levels the playing field for all hosts and helps us ensure that guests will be safe,” said City Commissioner Nick Fish.

Source: City of Portland

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