On September 12, the Montgomery County Council held a public hearing on Zoning Text Amendment 17-03 and Bill 2-16. The combined legislation would legalize short-term residential lodging activity in the County and establish a regulatory framework that includes licensing and registration, a primary residence requirement, a 90 day cap on "unhosted" rentals, certain safety requirements, keeping records of overnight guests, and more. Additional information about the proposed legislation appears below my signature.
For the most part, the hearing was noncontroversial but many amendments to further limit the activity and/or strengthen enforcement were brought forth by MHLA and others. Click here to read MHLA's written testimony in SUPPORT of ZTA 17-03 and Bill 2-16.
A worksession is scheduled in the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee on September 18, where all suggested amendments will be considered. A second worksession is already scheduled and we are hearing action by the full Council may be taken as early as October.
If the bill does not pass, short-term residential lodging activity under 30 days will remain illegal in Montgomery Count, and MHLA will push for enforcement of the existing regulation.
Additionally, Montgomery County has a "Voluntary Collection Agreement (VCA)" in place with Airbnb. We are encouraging the Council to consider terminating the VCA since it creates an unprecedented, secret tax agreement with extremely limited auditing capabilities. We support the tax being collected and remitted within the existing framework, and short-term rental platforms could utilize the same options used by OTCs if they choose to collect and remit tax on behalf of hosts.
Leveling the playing field between hotels and short-term rentals remains among MHLA's highest legislative priorities. Feel free to reach out with questions or to share what you're hearing in your community.
Thank you for your continued support of our efforts via MHLA membership.Amy Rohrer, CAE President & CEO Background: Click here for more information on ZTA 17-03 and Bill 2-16.