Ballot measure banning most short-term rentals in South Lake Tahoe passes
- Dec 6, 2018 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
A ballot measure that will ban most short-term rentals in South Lake Tahoe, California, has officially passed by 58 votes, according to the El Dorado County Elections Department. The measure received 50.42 percent of the vote.
Measure T applies to properties rented for 30 days or fewer outside the city’s tourist core. Currently, approximately 400 short-term rentals are located within the tourist core, and about 1,400 located in residential areas will be affected by the ban.
The measure phases out existing short-term rentals in prohibited areas over a period of three years. Existing hosts must renew their short-term licenses each year and cease offering short-term rentals after December 31, 2021. After that, they’ll still be able to offer long-term rentals.
Starting on December 20 of this year, the measure also reduces the number of occupants short-term rentals can host at one time to two people per bedroom, with a maximum of 12 people per property. Current rules allow two people per bedroom plus four per home.
The measure will take effect 10 days after the City Council meets to accept the election results, which is scheduled for Monday. Once it goes into effect, the city will not issue any new short-term rental permits in banned areas. Permits can still be issued for short-term rentals within the tourist core.
A similar initiative recently passed in Pacific Grove, Monterey County, with 57.5 percent of the vote. That measure bans short-term rentals in residential areas outside the coastal zone and will phase out existing short-term rentals in prohibited areas within 18 months.
A restrictive new short-term rental law went into effect in South Lake Tahoe late last year with rules that included:
- A cap on the number of short-term rentals in the city (outside of the tourist core)
- Noise, trash, and parking rules
- $1,000 fines for both renters and owners for violations
- A “three strikes” provision in which rental owners who have three violations within a 24-month period can permanently lose their short-term rental permit
Short-term vacation rental hosts must also be licensed and renew their registration every year, as well as collect city transient occupancy tax from their guests and pass those tax revenues on to the city.
Although Airbnb collects lodging taxes on behalf of its hosts in some California cities, it does not collect them in South Lake Tahoe, and neither do other listing platforms such as VRBO or HomeAway.
That means that short-term rental operators are responsible for registering, collecting taxes from their guests, filing tax returns, and remitting taxes to the city. MyLodgeTax offers an automated solution for short-term rental hosts looking for simplified solutions to lodging tax obligations.
For more on California lodging tax, see our state vacation rental tax guide.