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Twin Cities Hope to Regulate (and Tax) Airbnb in Time for the Super Bowl

The Twin Cities have a super-sized incentive to nail down regulations for short-term rentals. A tax revenue windfall hangs in the balance.
October 10, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Super Bowl LII will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Mark Herreid

"With February’s Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium, [Minneapolis and St. Paul] are actively discussing ordinances aimed at regulating this industry — not to mention collecting a little revenue," reports Greta Kaul.

Kaul notes that Airbnb already has a sizable portfolio in the Twin Cities, though none of the rentals are technically legal.

The article serves in part as a primer on the nascent field of short-term rental regulations practices before transitioning to a discussion of the specific of each city's proposed regulations. St. Paul's initial proposal, writes Kaul, "would limit short-term rentals to half of the units in a multidwelling building, up to four total; would disallow commercial or social events, require hosts to pay a $70 fee to be licensed and require them to pay lodging and sales tax (typically, St. Paul’s lodging tax is 3 percent [pdf], in addition to sales taxes and transit taxes, for establishments with less than 50 rooms), property insurance, and require non-owner-occupied units to have fire inspections, plus require platforms to pay $7,000 to operate in the city (St. Paul imposes a $30,000 licensing fee on ride network platforms like Lyft and Uber), among other provisions."

Meanwhile in Minneapolis a draft ordinance appearing before the Community Development and Regulatory Services Committee of the City Council this week "would require operators of short-term rentals to be licensed."

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