Beating back fee increases

7 replies [Last post]
Tom
Tom's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/11/2009

We are a licensed, inspected B&B.  We learned a couple months ago that our fees for Food Service and Lodging were going to go up 3 and 5 times to almost $900 in all.  The increase was to go for Board approval and yet there was no prior notification of the affected customers -- there are 8 licensed B&B in my county.

We were ... annoyed ... and rolled into action.  In my former life I worked the Halls extensively and am familiar with the legislative and political process.  We got the increases rolled back to $9, but it used up a lot of time -- about 20 hours -- and I am still really ... annoyed.

Next year I am going to push for substantial deregulation of the lodging industry in Oregon.  I think efforts to bring Air and Vrbo under the governmental palm will go nowhere.  The health laws for lodging date to 1969. It seems that the traveler today is content to stay in any of thousands of unlicensed and uninspected private rooms and homes.  Maybe the license I have no longer means anything to my potential customer.

 

Offline
Joined:
09/26/2011

During my recent health inspection in Washington State, I was told that soon, B&Bs and inns of two rooms or less will no longer be required to undergo health inspections.  

As I wish to keep my restaurant and catering license, my own inspections will ramp up a bit. I'm good with that. 

Tom
Tom's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/11/2009

I'm talking on site inspections.  For the hundreds of private STR, that would require too much manpower and would probably not generate net revenue.

Room tax is another thing: I pushed strenuously in 2016 to get the local collector to involve Air and Vrbo.  Finally they did and are making millions for no additional cost to staff.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

Massachusetts pass a registration requirement along with a requirement for ‘vacation rentals’ as defined, to collect and remit the occupancy tax.   

Air followed up by requiring MA listings to have a registration number.   So forced compliance.   

You can still rent under the table on Craig’s or fb or other sites, but it’s a start.    

Wnd they did not mandate inspections, they defined the term to be outside a business.    

__________________

TBH

 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Essentially, i think it's going to come to that. The lodging taxes bring in more money with no expense to the state, county, town. No inspectors = no salary for inspectors.

My state has seen an enormous increase in lodging revenue with zero increase in inspections.

I'd be happy to knock off all the additional expenses - commercial property tax, tax on utilities, multiple inspections, commercial rates on mortgage and insurance.

If everyone can sell a room with no additional expenses why can't I?

Even our Realtors association works against having rules for rentals.

__________________

Never judge a person's story by the chapter you walked in on.

 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Remember that in most cases, it's all about the money. If you can convince them that they will have a windfall of license fee money coming in, they will move to require license fees from Air lodging.

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Arks wrote:

Remember that in most cases, it's all about the money. If you can convince them that they will have a windfall of license fee money coming in, they will move to require license fees from Air lodging.


That was my first thought as well Arks! 

Tom, are the fees also applied to the hotels?  If so, you may want to lobby with them.  And if not, why not?

Beachie, glad they are having some progress but there still is a lot of work to be done since almost all OTA's are also promoting vacation rentals, etc. without requirements they still are able to bypass the laws. 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Exactly - I have always advocated when trying to  get Legislators to do something, SHOW THEM THE MONEY. That is the ONLY thing that makes their eyes sparkle and act. The only other things that will get immediate action is a knee-jerk reaction to a tragedy.

1 pipeline worker died because of an incorrectly hooked up pool ventilation system. Did they mandate an inspection of hotel and other pool systems? No, they passed a law requiring hotels, motels, B & Bs, daycare, nursing homes, and any other place people would be for an  extended period to have co2 detectors.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.