Illegal Renting a Drag for Innkeepers

ASHLAND, Ore. — Attractions like the Ashland Independent Film Festival are bringing record numbers of visitors for the tourism season, but Ashland innkeepers say bed and breakfast business is down from last year.

The Ashland Lodging Association says business for bed and breakfasts, hotels, and inns dropped around 15%. They say that’s because of direct owner to consumer websites like vrbo.com or Airbnb.com.

Some of the renters on those sites do business without getting accredited by the city. Innkeepers say that costs Ashland over $100,000 each year.

“What is happening is we are not seeing as much business anymore and it’s going to those who are not collecting and paying taxes to the city,” said Abi Maghamfar, President of the Ashland Lodging Association.

That tax rate renters pay is 10 percent to 9 percent for the city of Ashland and 1 percent for the state. The Ashland City Council is set to address rental laws on Monday night.