To the editor: I'm surprised that Representative Emily Kornheiser has introduced a bill with a residency clause that will deny thousands of private property owners the right to register their rentals unless they live on-site for 270 days ("Bill addresses short term rental issues," March 2).
This bill will shut down thousands of private lodging establishments that are now accommodating traveling nurses, seasonal employees, students and other paying guests. These vacation rentals have been the heart and soul of Vermont's hospitality brand for hundreds of years and contribute millions of dollars in taxes. In contrast to her hard-working Vermont constituents, the corporate owners of the Holiday Inn will certainly be happy with Representative Kornheiser's bill.
Kornheiser says public safety and data collection seem to be her primary concerns. However, it is disingenuous to insinuate that hotels, inns and even long term rentals are the safest, and most regulated lodging in our state. I'd like to remind Kornheiser that in her own district, hotels have a host of criminal activity, and many long term rental properties are unregulated and don't meet health codes.
Also, to blame the short term rental market for our affordable housing shortage is unintelligible. One conversation with a state economist will reveal that there are many complicated fiscal variables impacting Vermont's housing stock, none of which are being addressed in this bill.
Short term rental hosts, like myself, welcome a registration system for all types of housing. However, this bill's residency criteria will certainly shut down my one bedroom cabin that is a standalone structure on my property and has received 5-star reviews for eight years. There are thousands of Vermonters just like me who oppose Kornheiser's Bill H200.
Guilford, March 2