Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Horning in on the racket

The city is getting closer to legalizing the practice of converting housing stock into de-facto hotels and formerly affordable neighborhoods into tourist-saturated sacrifice zones. Rent stressed residents have protested this trend for years now but it's becoming more and more clear that the city is on the side of the landlords.  So long as they get their cut, that is.
The New Orleans City Council has yet to weigh in on proposals to legalize short-term rentals citywide, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration already is working on a way to cash in on properties rented through Airbnb and similar sites.

As legislators in Baton Rouge hash out ways to cover a nearly $1 billion shortfall in this fiscal year’s state budget, they’ll also consider a bill that would extend existing taxes on hotel and motel rooms to the growing trend of short-term rentals as well as to small, traditional bed-and-breakfasts that are now exempt from those taxes.

The city-backed bill is among the measures in Gov. John Bel Edwards’ legislative package for the special session that is now underway.

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