The city of Dallas has started collecting hotel taxes on short-term rental properties — but only from those whose owners have bothered to sign up.
Since November 2019, the city of Dallas has campaigned to get short-term rental residences — rooms and apartments listed on sites like Airbnb and VRBO — to register with the city and to pay hotel occupancy taxes, which the city requires.
Dallas mandates that all homes and rooms rented for less than 30 days collect a 7% hotel occupancy tax from renters and pay it to the city every month. According to a memo sent to the mayor and City Council on Friday by M. Elizabeth Reich, the city's chief financial officer, there are roughly 1,200 rentals in Dallas subject to the ordinance.
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Of those, 371 have registered with the city and 237 have begun paying what they owe the city in taxes. That's about 20% of all properties that should be paying the tax.
Short-term rentals advertised on sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway recently have been criticized in major cities across the country for driving up rents and contributing to housing shortages. Residents in once-quiet neighborhoods now have to contend with a revolving set of vacationers who don't always respect the culture of the neighborhood.
Several crimes in short-term rentals have also caused uproar on social media, elicited calls for tighter restrictions on short-term rentals and led Airbnb to ban what it calls “party houses.” After an Allen football player was shot and killed at a house party in an Airbnb property in Plano last year, neighbors asked the City Council to consider regulating short-term rentals.
So far, Dallas only requires registration and the tax payment, but neighboring North Texas cities have taken steps to limit and regulate short-term rentals in ways that shield residential neighborhoods. Fort Worth restricts short-term rentals for residential use to commercial and industrial neighborhoods. Last year, Arlington voted to ban short-term rentals within its city limits, except around its entertainment district.