County adopts short-term rental registry and 2% occupancy tax

Madison White Franks

by Madison White Franks

LANCASTER—Looking to generate more revenue for the county, Lancaster supervisors last week established a short-term rental registry and a transient occupancy tax.

Following a public hearing, District 5 supervisor Bob Westbrook introduced a motion to create the registry, which would further regulate short-term rental property such as Airbnb sites.

The motion passed 4-1 with support from District 1 supervisor Jack Larson, District 2 supervisor Ernest Palin, District 4 supervisor and chairman Bill Lee and Westbrook.

District 3 supervisor Jason Bellows moved to table the issue until more research could be conducted. However, his motion failed by a similar 4-1 vote.

“This is a pretty big imposition on personal property rights…when the government is trying to decide what homeowners can do with their home occupancy that is already allowed in the zoning,” said Bellows.

“These types of short term rentals would fit in our zoning ordinance under bed and breakfast and tourist home,” said interim county administrator Don Gill…