Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > New laws require Boise, Ketchum short-term rental hosts to obtain license

New laws require Boise, Ketchum short-term rental hosts to obtain license

  • Apr 12, 2022 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Welcome to Idaho

Short-term rental operators in Boise, Idaho, must obtain an $80 annual license to operate in the city under a new law passed by the City Council. The regulations go into effect May 6.

Under the ordinance, vacation rental hosts are also required to report to the city:

  • The names of owners and their contact information
  • Any online listing numbers for the property
  • A description of the property and its safety equipment

Hosts must also designate a local representative who lives within 20 miles of the rental and offer guests information on parking. Operators are required to have $1 million in liability insurance coverage or list their properties on short-term rental marketplaces, such as Airbnb and Vrbo, that provide insurance. The law also outlines rules for quiet hours and trash. Operators who violate the law can have their license suspended or revoked or face a misdemeanor.

It is estimated that around 1,200 short-term rentals are operating in Boise.

The City Council in Ketchum, Idaho, also passed an ordinance requiring short-term rental operators to have a permit, with an application fee of $527. Owners must also sign an affidavit saying that they agree to follow city standards and provide a self-inspection checklist. The city may require an inspection to verify compliance with standards. Short-term rentals are not allowed in light industrial zones, and units in residential zones are limited to one per parcel and must require guests to stay a minimum of two nights.

The regulations went into effect on April 1, but previously operating properties have 90 days after that to get a permit. Online permit applications are expected to be available June 1.

Operators who violate the law will receive a warning for the first two violations within a 12-month period, with the permit revoked if a third violation occurs within those 12 months. Hosts can face additional penalties for violating other city laws.

The City Council will also look at proposals for a software system to help with compliance so that the city will not miss out on local option tax revenue, which is levied on short-term rentals. Currently, it’s estimated that 35% of short-term rentals in Ketchum are operating without business licenses, and the tax is not being collected on those properties.

Lodging tax collection required on Idaho vacation rentals

Short-term rentals in Boise are subject to state-administered lodging taxes, including state sales tax, travel and convention tax, and Boise auditorium district tax. In addition to state taxes, Ketchum short-term rentals are subject to local option tax.

Short-term rental marketplaces are responsible for collecting all taxes due on lodging in Boise and Ketchum booked through them. If taxes aren’t collected on hosts’ behalf — such as when guests book and pay directly through the operator rather than through a short-term rental marketplace — operators are responsible for registering with the Idaho State Tax Commission and/or the local tax authority, collecting lodging taxes from guests, and filing lodging tax returns. 

Avalara MyLodgeTax can help Idaho short-term rental hosts automate lodging tax to streamline and simplify their lodging tax compliance. For more on lodging tax in Idaho, see our state Lodging Tax Guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.

Learn more about ID lodging tax rules