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New Airbnb Regulations Could Be On The Way

Mary Altaffer
Airbnb Public Policy manager Josh Meltzer, speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in New York.

Cincinnati City Council Member David Mann is revising his proposal to regulate short-term rentals. These sites, which include Airbnbs, are growing in number and popularity in neighborhoods including Over-the-Rhine. Neighbors have raised concerns about the lack of available housing as more homes are converted to Airbnb rentals and about the noise these units bring to the neighborhood. Advocates say they are great for the economy and neighborhood vitality.

Mann's new proposal no longer puts a cap on how many units an individual or company can operate. He has shifted his focus to the safety of those who stay in short-term rentals. What is still in the ordinance is a 7% excise tax that would be earmarked as revenue for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Meanwhile, in Northern Kentucky some cities have also grappled with short-term rental regulations. Most of the urban cities, like Covington and Bellevue, have given them the green-light, but other cities have not been as favorable. Erlanger, Taylor Mill and Edgewood have all taken legislative action to ban the lodging opportunity. Northern Kentucky’s second-largest city, Florence, is in the process of drafting legislation related to short-term rentals.

Data shows that Airbnb has proven to be popular in parts of Northern Kentucky. In 2017, more than 7,200 guests checked in to short-term stays in Covington, Newport and Bellevue, earning their hosts $685,000 that year. Covington was Kentucky’s third-largest market for Airbnb, behind Louisville and Lexington.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss short-term rentals are Cincinnati City Council Member David Mann; Edgewood City Administrator Brian Dehner; Florence City Coordinator Josh Wice; Coalition for Sensible Short Term Rental Policy Member Margy Waller; and Airbnb Operator Chris Hikel.

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