Letter writer: Playing field for short-term rentals isn’t so level after all

Graphic by Lori Deaton

In reference to Krista [L. White’s] article, “Leveling the Playing Field,” in Mountain Xpress on June 17, the Buncombe County occupancy tax was started in 1983 at 2 percent and applied to rentals with five or more units. The number of units was reduced to one about a year ago.

HomeAway and VRBO are very similar to Airbnb, have been around for over 10 years and are not currently collecting and sending taxes to the state of North Carolina or Buncombe County. The occupancy tax is now 6 percent and is used to promote visitors and people moving to the area.

This article could have been titled, “Leveling the playing field in favor of HomeAway and VRBO.”

Now that we are getting 10 new hotels, let’s increase taxes to fill them.

[The] Asheville area [is] not growing fast enough: Let’s speed up the train.

— Tom Gallo
Asheville

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