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City Auditor: Dallas Is Missing Out By Not Collecting Tax on Short-Term Vacation Rentals

What's the one thing Key West and Encinitas have that Dallas doesn't? Besides a tax on short-term vacation rentals.
What's the one thing Key West and Encinitas have that Dallas doesn't? Besides a tax on short-term vacation rentals.

Back in February, the city auditor in Austin, Ken Mory, took a long, hard look at hotel occupancy taxes down there and noted that folks renting out their homes to vacationers weren't paying what he believed to be their fair share. At which point, Mory called Dallas and said: Hey, y'all may want to look into this. So Dallas City Auditor Craig Kinton did. Which is why, moments ago, Kinton sent to Mayor Mike and the city council an audit on the very same subject wherein he came to the very same conclusion: "The City does not currently have processes and procedures in place that specifically address short-term vacation rentals."

In the doc you'll find on the other side, Kinton writes that Dallas really ought to be collecting hotel occupancy taxes on short-term vacation rentals -- just like, oh, Key West, Florida, for instance, or Encinitas, California, the two cities whose processes and procedures Kinton highlights in his report to council. Regardless, though, writes Kinton, the city already has the authority to collect HOTs on vacay rentals, since a hotel's defined by City Code as any building "in which members of the public obtain sleeping accommodations for consideration," including "tourist home, tourist house [or] rooming house."

Meanwhile, down in Austin, city's Board of Adjustment was looking at doing away with short-term vacation rentals altogether. But city officials want a closer look at the more than 200 properties being used as rentals first. And, hey, speaking of Craig Kinton, that reminds me: I wonder how this is going.

Auditor Report on Vacation Homes


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